Paterson: a good deal for Northern Ireland
Comments by Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP following the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Comments by Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP following the Comprehensive Spending Review:
In exceptionally difficult economic circumstances, this is a remarkably good deal for Northern Ireland.
UK Government Departments are being cut by an average of 8.3 per cent.
The Northern Ireland Office is committed to finding savings of 25 per cent. Yet the Northern Ireland Executive is being asked to reduce spending by 6.9 per cent over four years. That’s an average saving of 1.7 pence in every £1 local ministers spend each year.
To suggest that this is worse than expected is simply wrong.
The CBI has shown how £1.1 billion could be saved if things were run more efficiently in Northern Ireland.
On capital spending the reductions announced today are only one part of the overall investment strategy - and they are less than planned by the previous Labour Government.
Taking the overall picture into account we are still on course to deliver the £18 billion capital investment by 2017-18.
We have also delivered on our commitment to provide the means for a fair and just resolution to the crisis in the PMS.
So the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have recognised the special circumstances of Northern Ireland.
The fears expressed by many people about ‘savage cuts’ simply have not happened.
By the end of the review period the Northern Ireland Executive will still have an extra £200 million in cash.
That should enable the Executive to play its part in reducing the record deficit we inherited responsibly and compassionately.
There is no question that Northern Ireland has done proportionately better than the rest of the United Kingdom. That’s because this Government has honoured its pledge to stand by Northern Ireland.
To answer a question posed recently - this Prime Minister and this Secretary of State ‘get Northern Ireland’.