Wed 19th Mar 2014
NI Chamber Response to Budget
Commenting on today’s Budget, Mark Nodder, President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:
“Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the Chancellor’s focus on exports and investment in today’s Budget.
“We particularly welcome the government’s plans to double the amount of lending available to exporters to £3bn and cut in interest rates. This is entirely consistent with our recent call that much greater support for exporters is needed; although finance is only one of the challenges facing our businesses trading internationally. Our membership has called for other measures including greater in-market support and additional supports for potential and first time exporters. We have also campaigned strongly about the negative message Air Passenger Duty is sending to investors and exporters and it is positive to see today’s announcement of some reforms. However, we would like this to have gone much further, particularly given the impact of APD on Northern Ireland businesses.
“NI Chamber has been promoting the Enterprise Zone concept since 2011 and we welcome the announcement of a pilot Northern Ireland Enterprise Zone in Coleraine. It is now vital that this is established quickly given the delay in introducing any here. We also look forward to the announcement of further Enterprise Zones for Northern Ireland in the coming months. It is vital that the Northern Ireland Assembly assumes the main leadership role in the process, rather than the Treasury. There should be an appreciation of the objectives of all institutions of Government, but the responsibility must rest with Northern Ireland.”