Belfast Telegraph

Ministers meet to discuss the floods and compensation

By Michael McHugh

The Executive is meeting today to discuss the floods which have devastated businesses and homeowners across Northern Ireland.

Low-lying areas around sections of Lough Erne and Lough Neagh have been worst hit.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill has said she will announce details of a new grant scheme to help people protect their homes.

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly represents the Upper Bann area which has been badly affected.

"The onus is on the Executive to make a difference by delivering on flood relief and at the very least agree to minister Durkan's proposal to extend the Emergency Financial Assistance Scheme to businesses and community facilities," she said. "After speaking with business owners last week I have seen first-hand the devastation the flooding has caused.

"It is disheartening that minister Durkan's previous call for the scheme to be extended to businesses, submitted to the Executive in a paper last December, had not been heeded by other ministers.

"It is absolutely vital therefore that all flood relief resources are now deployed as quickly and effectively as possible while at the same time serious questions be asked about the delay in the Executive's response to the flooding.

"If Minister Durkan had not called for the £1.3m from the UK Government to be ring fenced for flood prevention and assistance, who knows where this money might have ended up."

Belfast Telegraph


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