Flooding: Financial Support for Farmers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 22 April 2024.

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Photo of Andrew Muir Andrew Muir Alliance 2:45, 22 April 2024

I thank the Member for her question and for her engagement with our officials in relation to potato growers. As Minister, I have to satisfy myself on the use of public funds and the tests associated with that. I am also conscious of the budget situation, and my Department looks forward to receiving support from Members to improve that situation. I am keen to support the horticulture sector, but I need to be able to satisfy myself on the use of public funds and on the budget cover for the issue. I am aware that ministerial directions have been issued around the issue previously, but, as a former member of the Public Accounts Committee, I am also conscious of the threshold that needs to be reached. It is important that we lobby the UK Government for a UK-wide support scheme.