Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for the Economy whether he intends to introduce legislation to ban the sale of gas boilers for home heating from 2035, similar to that published by the British Government on 19th October 2021.
Minister for the Economy: I am pleased that our local businesses are open and trading again. This is the best way to help our economy to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
In response to this global pandemic, my Department led on the development and delivery of a wide range of business support schemes. In doing so, we have provided over £514 million of much needed funds to local businesses and workers. I will place the list of my Department’s COVID-19 financial support schemes in the Assembly library. All of these schemes are now closed to new applications.
My Department’s focus is now firmly on economic recovery and the delivery of our Economic Recovery Action Plan.
The Plan has been strongly endorsed by the Northern Ireland business community, and has continued to evolve in response to changing economic conditions.
The highest profile action within the Economic Recovery Action Plan is the High Street Scheme, designed to give our local towns, cities and businesses a much needed boost. I am delighted with the response, and I would continue to encourage all recipients to ‘spend local’ when they use their pre-paid card.
The High Street Scheme is only one of many actions I am taking to aid economic recovery. For example, Invest NI has been provided with additional funding to launch a third call for the Digital Selling and Capability Grant and a second call for the COVID-19 Energy Efficiency Capital Grant.
Significant progress has been made against the actions set out in the Plan, providing the critical first steps in our economic recovery journey.