Finance Minister, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has welcomed the decision of British Chancellor Hammond to depart from previous policy and greenlight an infrastructure stimulus package.
This stimulus was requested by the Finance Ministers of Wales, Scotland and the North last month, but Minister Ó Muilleoir said he was dismayed at the continuing commitment of the British Government to the “self-defeating austerity agenda”.
The Minister said: “I am glad that the Chancellor has listened to calls from the Devolved Administration Finance Ministers, who together represent 10 million people, to provide a capital stimulus.”
He continued: “The Chancellor’s announcement however does not reverse the 4.1% real terms reduction in our Resource budget which pays for the everyday running of public services. Earlier I joined my Scottish and Welsh counterparts in a conference call and we will continue to push the Conservative government to rethink their failed austerity agenda.
“The Office for Budget Responsibility’s prediction of a 2.4% drop in economic growth as a direct result of the EU referendum points up the huge challenges ahead."
On the key issue of Corporation tax the Minister noted the confirmation of the British government’s intention to move to a rate of 17%.
The Minister said: “The Executive supports a Corporation Tax rate of 12.5% to encourage business growth and create tens of thousands of jobs. Now we have clarity on the British Government’s plans, we can move into intensive negotiations on the practical outworkings of this derogation.”
Notes to editors:
- The UK Government is abolishing its Autumn Statement and March Budget process, moving to a single event - an Autumn Budget in 2017.
- The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement can be viewed in full via the HM Treasury website.
- Any changes to UK public expenditure will impact on the Executive’s Budget through the Barnett Formula. The spending announcements made by the Chancellor resulted in Barnett allocations to the Executive as follows:
|Non Ring-fenced Resource DEL||0.2||19.0||14.9||6.0||-|
|Financial Transactions Capital||0.7||0.7||0.7||0.7||0.7|
*Figures may not add due to roundings
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