Budget does not address regional sustainability

Alliance Party Finance Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has described the first Budget from Alistair Darling as minimalist, and has emphasised that it does nothing to address the fundamental regional imbalances in the UK economy.

Dr Stephen Farry MLA stated: “This is a minimalist budget, particularly with respect to addressing environmental challenges. Much is promised but little is delivered.

“There is little in the budget of specific assistance to Northern Ireland. For Alliance, the fundamental challenge is overcoming the significant regional imbalances within the overall UK economy. Only 3 out of 12 regions are net fiscal contributors to the UK Treasury. The remaining nine regions are in various degrees of fiscal dependency, with Northern Ireland being the most extreme case.

“The cut in corporation tax will provide a boost to business investment across the UK; however, there is little appreciation of the need for regional sustainability, let alone any action. Northern Ireland requires a differential rate of corporation tax in order to address the realities of an all-island economy.”


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