Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA, UUP Finance Spokesperson said:
“The Chancellor’s statement this morning is a radical change of approach for our economy and how we pay for our public services. It is a massive tax adjustment and stimulus, worth over £105Billion.While it may address the energy crisis and help reduce inflation, albeit in the short term, it does create the risk of not delivering the growth the economy needs. The amount of debt that our nation will accrue will be a challenge for many decades to come, particularly if the huge gamble by the Prime Minister and Chancellor doesn’t succeed.
“In Northern Ireland the cuts in income tax, the abolition of the higher rate of income tax and the reverse in the increase in national insurance contribution will be welcomed by most.The reversal of the corporation tax increase will also be very beneficial to our businesses. The creation of enterprise and investment zones in England are measures that we should be replicating in Northern Ireland.If we had an Executive, we could be pushing to make Northern Ireland as a whole such a zone.
“While it remains to be seen whether VAT free shopping can be applied here because of the Protocol, there is much in the detail of this statement to be cautiously supportive of – if it can be applied here, and if - and it is a big if - it does create the conditions for GDP growth rates of 2.5%”
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