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Economist John Simpson's high praise for Mallon and Swann

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Nichola Mallon has been praised for her decision-making over the past year

Nichola Mallon has been praised for her decision-making over the past year

Nichola Mallon has been praised for her decision-making over the past year

Business Telegraph columnist John Simpson today rates the contribution of some Executive ministers as their mettle was tested in a year of crisis.

And the economist praises Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon for some of her decision-making during the year.

In September, the minister gave the green light for the North South Interconnector, which will create a new overhead electricity line to connect Northern Ireland and the Republic.

It's expected to improve security of supply on both sides of the border though it had also attracted opposition from residents. Mr Simpson also praises Health Minister Robin Swann and health workers for "exceptional dedication".

"Holding the line against an aggressive pandemic, unequalled in our lifetime, has been a remarkable achievement. Many lives have been lost, some unnecessarily, but many more have been saved," Mr Simpson writes.

He praises Finance Minister Conor Murphy for releasing money to help the economy, and describes Chancellor Rishi Sunak's coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as "imaginative".

Some of the schemes funded by the Department of Finance were administered by the Department for the Economy.

But Mr Simpson does criticise the operation of some of the schemes.

"The delivery of financial support to people whose incomes had disappeared was uneven to the point, sometimes, of unfairness to some groups."

Belfast Telegraph


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