Mon 29th Oct 2018
NI Chamber comments on Chancellor’s Autumn Budget 2018
NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor.
Commenting on the Autumn Budget delivered by Chancellor Philip Hammond earlier today, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber); said:
“Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry particularly welcomes the Chancellor’s Belfast Region City Deal and the £2m package for Belfast as a result of the Primark fire.
“These measures, along with other announcements including the digital catapult (£215 million additional investment for UK innovation centres) and e-passports (enabling more travellers to be processed more quickly) will be welcomed by businesses here.
“The increase in the Annual Investment Allowance to £1m for two years also gives firms a strong incentive to invest during the Brexit process. Ultimately it can help companies improve productivity, skills and competitiveness.”
On a Belfast Region City Deal…
“The Chancellor’s commitment to a Belfast Region City Deal is to be especially welcomed. This is a once in a generation opportunity for Northern Ireland to tackle fundamental structural problems in the regional economy. It will provide us with a platform to deliver inclusive growth, reduce economic inactivity and enhance productivity here. The money must now be invested in projects that will have the biggest impact on our economy.
“It is also extremely positive that the Chancellor has commented that a Derry/Londonderry City Deal conversation is to begin and we look forward to engaging with Treasury on this.
On Air Passenger Duty (APD)…
“It is however disappointing that there is no immediate change for Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Northern Ireland. NI Chamber will continue to voice our concerns about the negative message APD is sending to tourists, investors and exporters. As a small island economy (and as the only part of the UK with a land border with another part of the EU which does not have an air passenger duty) it is extremely important that Northern Ireland looks at all options to remain competitive and enhance air connectivity.”