Mon 30th Nov 2015
NI Chamber Response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement
Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement earlier today, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:
“We are delighted that the Chancellor has used this opportunity to listen to business on infrastructure and that Northern Ireland will receive more money to be spent on infrastructure projects as part of today’s announcement.
“Infrastructure is one of biggest issues raised by NI Chamber members who believe that Northern Ireland’s infrastructure is suboptimal. There is a lack of delivery of key projects (e.g. North South Interconnector and the A5) and our road networks are not well maintained.
“Our members have long called for improvements in the strategic road network with a particular focus on addressing bottlenecks, such as the York Street interchange, along with the other projects such as the A5 and the A6. Northern Ireland also needs to invest in public transport services to enhance connectivity and mobility (including the rail link to Dublin).
“Businesses will also welcome the Regional Air Connectivity Fund to support new air routes promoting domestic and international connectivity including from Belfast to Carlisle and from Derry to Dublin. The maintenance of existing air routes and the introduction of new routes benefit local business people in terms of developing business linkages and improving access to customers and markets outside of Northern Ireland. It therefore has a direct impact upon Northern Ireland’s ability to grow exports and boost investment.
“Finally, NI Chamber also welcomes the government’s reiteration that it is committed to the devolution of Corporation Tax powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, subject to the Northern Ireland Executive demonstrating that its finances have been put on a sustainable footing and the commitments from the Stormont House Agreement met. We again urge the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure this opportunity is not wasted.”