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Budget 2015: Helping the hard-working people of Northern Ireland

Today's Budget provides additional support for businesses and hard-working people in Northern Ireland

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Budget 2015 reinforces the Government’s commitment to Northern Ireland. The long-term economic plan which has secured the foundations for recovery across the UK continues to help drive economic growth and jobs in Northern Ireland.

Decisions taken by the Government today provide further support to hard-working people in Northern Ireland by increasing the personal tax allowance to £11,000 by 2017-18. The planned fuel duty rise has been cancelled and basic rate savers will receive a £1,000 allowance on savings income.

Additional support through a package of measures aimed at the creative industries, including film and television tax reliefs, should provide a further boost to Northern Ireland’s recent successes in attracting international productions.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, said:

This Government has a long term economic plan that is working. So I strongly welcome today’s Budget Statement by the Chancellor, and particularly the additional support for business and hard-working people in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland economy is clearly benefiting from the Government’s long term economic plan. Figures released today show that the unemployment rate fell by 1.5 percentage points over the year; the production sector has grown by 2.7% over the year; and an additional 12,200 jobs have been created in the private sector.

The Government is committed to supporting hard-working people through an increase in the personal allowance to £11,000 by 2017-18 - which will help ensure work continues to pay. This means that since 2010 the Government will have lifted 103,000 people in Northern Ireland out of income tax altogether by 2017-18, and 698,000 people will see an average real terms gain of £561.

It also continues to take measures to keep household costs down through the cancellation of the fuel duty increase. The Help to Buy ISA will also help those with the aspiration to own their own home to get on the property ladder.

All of this is clear evidence of this Government’s continuing commitment to Northern Ireland. It builds on the support the Government is giving to Northern Ireland through the Economic Pact with the Executive, the Stormont House Agreement, and legislation to devolve corporation tax rate-setting powers, which passed its final parliamentary stage yesterday.

Our long-term economic plan has been growing our economy, delivering more jobs and raising living standards. We have to go on working through that plan.

Key measures in Budget 2015:

  1. The personal allowance will increase to £10,800 in 2016-17 and £11,000 by 2017-18. Since 2010 the Government will have lifted 103,000 people in Northern Ireland out of income tax altogether by 2017-18, and 698,000 people will see an average real terms gain of £561.

  2. Through the new Help to Buy ISA the Government will provide a bonus of up to £3,000 to contribute towards a first home. This could help over 30,000 people in Northern Ireland to purchase their first home in the next 5 years.

  3. Basic rate taxpayers will receive £1,000 Personal Savings Allowance and higher rate payers will receive a £500 allowance from 2016-17. In Northern Ireland, providing basic rate taxpayers with a £1000 Personal Savings Allowance and higher rate taxpayers with a £500 Personal Savings Allowance could remove up to 410,000 people from savings tax liability.

  4. The Northern Ireland Executive will benefit from additional funding of £11m through to 2015-16 as a result of Barnett consequentials.

  5. The cancellation of the September 2015 fuel duty increase will benefit drivers of Northern Ireland’s 880,000 cars and help businesses with transport costs.

  6. A package of measures to support the film and television sector will increase the rate of film tax relief to 25%; extend the high-end television tax relief; and extend the Skills Investment Fund to support skills in the creative industries.

In his speech today, the Chancellor emphasised the importance of the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement and urged Northern Ireland’s leaders to ensure that happens.

The Government continues to work with the NI Executive to ensure that the commitments made in the Stormont House Agreement are delivered, in keeping with our shared objectives of reducing division and rebalancing the NI economy.

Published 18 March 2015