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Freight: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for the haulage industry in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is working closely with Cabinet colleagues and the NI Executive to keep supply lines flowing, as the reduction in demand for certain goods has impacted on the haulage sector across the UK.

Recognising the exceptional circumstances faced by businesses across the country, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of measures to support businesses, employees and the self-employed. This includes Government backed loans and direct support for wages, which are available to hauliers.

In Northern Ireland, this is supplemented by additional support for businesses from the NI Executive following significant increases of approximately £1.2bn in the spending power of the Executive to enable it to respond to Covid-19. Together with the Executive, the Government has also provided direct financial support (worth up to £17m) for critical ferry routes between NI and GB, which ensures there is capacity for hauliers to transport goods to and from NI.

While reduced demand for goods persists, the Government will continue to monitor the position across the UK in case it should be necessary to take further steps to support the haulage industry.

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