Wed 22nd Nov 2017
NI Chamber comment on Budget 2017
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has given a guarded welcome to the Chancellor’s Budget.
NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor said:
“Philip Hammond has set aside £3bn for Brexit preparation, on top of the existing £700m. It is good to hear him make the case for a Brexit transition period which has been called for by our members who want a minimum period of 3 years.
“We also welcome the fact that negotiations and consultations will open on a city deal for Belfast which would give the city certain powers to create jobs and support economic growth. This will be a boost for investment in skills, economic development and will prove attractive to investors.
“However, while the Chancellor has allocated an extra £650m to Northern Ireland in the Budget over the next three years to 2020, there is no Executive in place so it is unclear how the money will be spent and where the priorities lie across key areas including the economy, infrastructure, health and education.
“We are relieved that the government remains committed to giving the Northern Ireland Executive the power to set the rate of corporation tax. But this will only happen once a restored Executive demonstrates its finances are on a sustainable footing. Subject to this, the government will consider an announcement in 2018-19 on implementing the regime.
“Again we stress that the Northern Ireland Executive must be restored so that an economic strategy that includes setting a reduced rate for Corporation Tax and a single Northern Ireland action plan on Brexit can move forward and address key business concerns.”