In today’s Gracious Speech, Her Majesty The Queen pledged that Her Government
will continue to work with the devolved administration in Northern Ireland to rebalance the economy, promote reconciliation and create a shared future.
Northern Ireland continues to benefit from the Government’s initiatives across the United Kingdom as a whole, including:
- having the most competitive business taxes in the G20
- reducing the deficit by a third to keep mortgage and interest rates low
- increasing the income tax threshold to £10,500, benefiting over 600,000 people in Northern Ireland
- the abolition of national insurance contributions for the under 21s
The Government remains on course to make a final decision on the potential devolution of Corporation Tax powers no later than Autumn Statement 2014.
The Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are also working to implement the measures contained within ‘Building a Prosperous and United Community’ – the economic pact signed between the Prime Minister and First and deputy First Ministers. An update to the pact will be published shortly.
Secretary of State, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP said:
Today’s Queen’s Speech marks the next big step in our long term economic plan for the UK. Its aim is to ensure the recovery for our country, through a stronger, more competitive economy and a fairer society. The Speech includes a number of Bills of great importance to people in Northern Ireland, including cutting national insurance for businesses, helping families with the cost of childcare and reforming pensions to reward savers. It also reaffirms the Government’s commitment to rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy and building a shared future for all.
It is vital that the Northern Ireland parties work intensively in the coming weeks on seeking an agreement on flags, parading and the past. The Government remains fully engaged in this process and will continue to support the party leaders in their efforts to reach an agreed way forward. And we remain determined to press ahead with measures contained in the economic pact to boost the private sector and ensure continuing economic recovery.
The following is a summary of the legislation announced in today’s Queen’s Speech and the extent of its proposed application to Northern Ireland.
The list also identifies the lead Government department for each piece of legislation.
These Bills will wholly or partly extend to Northern Ireland, dealing mainly with excepted/reserved matters:
- Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) (MOD)
- National Insurance Contributions (HM Treasury)
- Childcare Payments (HM Treasury)
- Pensions Tax (HM Treasury)
- Recall of MPs (Cabinet Office)
These Bills may extend to Northern Ireland to varying degrees and could require the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to provisions in the devolved field:
- Serious Crime (Home Office)
- Infrastructure (Department for Transport)
- Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (BIS)
- Private Pensions (DWP)
- Modern Slavery (Home Office)
These Bills will have limited or no application to Northern Ireland:
- Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism (MOJ)
- Draft Protection of Charities (Cabinet Office)
- Draft Riot (Damages) (Home Office)
- Draft National Park Authorities (Elections) (DEFRA)
The UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive will continue to discuss those Bills that might include provisions requiring the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly.