Stormont’s Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has warned that Northern Ireland faces a “very severe” recession following the pandemic.
Murphy described the post-pandemic landscape which will feature “major challenges” including Brexit.
Murphy told the BBC that he recognises it is “inevitable we will have damage.
“We recognise inevitably businesses will suffer and jobs may go, but we’re obviously trying to mitigate against that as best we possibly can.
“I think it is going to be very severe [a post-pandemic recession], and what we have to take into account is the impact of Brexit, that was something that was always going to be very economically challenging for us.
“We recognise there are a number of very serious challenges ahead, challenges that will last for some time, and what we want to do is try and support business to meet those challenges.
“There are very real challenges ahead.
“The Executive, when it reformed in January, was going to face a very challenging time politically, economically, in terms of support for public services because of the years of austerity budgets, but that’s all been greatly increased because of the situation we are facing at the moment.”