The Autumn Statement reinforces the UK government’s commitment to NI. The economic plan has provided the foundations for recovery, and economic activity and employment in NI are improving.
Today’s Autumn Statement confirms that people in Northern Ireland will continue to benefit from action the UK government is taking to support aspiration and help with the cost of living. The planned fuel duty rise has been cancelled and the transferable tax allowance will benefit married couples.
The government is also committed to boosting investment, jobs and growth. Employer National Insurance contributions for under-21 year olds will be abolished to ensure no-one is left behind. Creative industries in Northern Ireland will gain from additional funding for minority language broadcasting and through continued tax relief for film and high-end television production.
As a result of decisions this autumn, the Northern Ireland Executive will receive an additional £136m in funding over the next 2 years through Barnett consequentials. This means that since Spending Review 2010 the UK government has increased their budgets by more than £960m.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, said:
The Autumn Statement comes at a time when there is increasing evidence that the UK’s hard work is paying off and the economy, in Northern Ireland and across the rest of the country is recovering. So I strongly welcome today’s statement by the Chancellor and particularly the additional support for business and hard working people in Northern Ireland.
The Government is committed to supporting aspiration and helping where it can with the cost of living – and the Autumn Statement includes tax allowances for married couples and the cancellation of the planned fuel duty rise.
The planned abolition of employer National Insurance contributions for under-21 year olds will be a boost for existing businesses as well as improving opportunities for young people in Northern Ireland.
And an additional £136m in Barnett consequentials gives the Northern Ireland Executive the flexibility to invest further in line with their own priorities.
All of this is clear evidence of the government’s continuing commitment to Northern Ireland.
Key measures in the Autumn Statement:
- The Northern Ireland Executive will benefit from positive Barnett consequentials of £176m over two years. This total is slightly offset by reductions resulting from decreases in UK departmental budgets. This means that since the 2010 Spending Review the UK government will have increased NI Executive budgets by more than £960 million.
- The NI Executive will receive Barnett consequentials related to action the government is taking in Great Britain to reduce energy bills, which they could spend on energy measures in Northern Ireland if they wish.
- 130,000 couples in the Northern Ireland will be able to benefit by up to £200 from the introduction of transferable tax allowance for married couples in 2015/16.
- Cancelling the fuel duty rise planned for September 2014 will reduce fuel costs for the drivers of 880,000 cars and vans in Northern Ireland.
- £4m of support will be provided for the Irish Language Broadcast Fund and Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund in 2015-16.
- The jobs of 39,000 people in Northern Ireland under the age of 21 years will be supported by the abolition of employer National Insurance Contributions. This measure could save businesses in Northern Ireland £10m
The government continues to work with the NI Executive to ensure that the commitments made in the economic pact Building a Prosperous and United Community are delivered, in keeping with our shared objectives of reducing division and rebalancing the NI economy.