NI Tory Chairman calls on Executive to embrace Government’s ‘Budget for jobs and working families’
Northern Ireland Conservatives’ chairman, Irwin Armstrong, has called upon Sammy Wilson and the Executive to follow the government’s example and “stand up for the unemployed and underpaid private sector workers, as well as the civil service”.
“The government has crafted a budget for working people, aimed at creating jobs and making the private sector competitive in the employment market. In contrast, Sammy Wilson seems only to care about keeping money rolling into Northern Ireland’s bloated civil service. Whenever any measure which can create more jobs is mooted, our Finance Minister instinctively opts to condemn unemployed people to more years on benefits.”
“Today George Osborne announced a further cut in Corporation Tax which will bring investment and jobs to the UK. In contrast Sammy Wilson has pursued a one man campaign to portray a lower rate here as a cut to the Northern Ireland economy.”
“George Osborne has acted to take 2 million of the lowest paid people in the UK out of tax altogether, 25,000 of them in Northern Ireland, raising the personal allowance by £1,100 to £9,205. Sammy Wilson is more concerned that Independent Pay Review bodies, which examine civil service pay, may recommend that the gap between public sector pay and private sector pay, which currently stands at a staggering 40% in Northern Ireland, should narrow.”
“George Osborne has announced increased support for enterprise zones across the UK. In Great Britain these schemes have caused investment to flood into impoverished areas like Liverpool. Yet, despite our calls from last October, he is still waiting for the Northern Ireland Executive to take the initiative and announce its first zone, even though the government has provided money and the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland are ploughing ahead with their own plans.”
“George Osborne has worked tirelessly to make the UK one of the top 10 friendliest environments to do business in the world. Meanwhile, Sammy Wilson and his Executive colleagues devise a retail tax aimed at punishing big stores for being successful.”
“The 2012 Budget supports working families, it’s on the side of aspiration and it provides hope for the underpaid and unemployed. The Northern Ireland Executive, and the Finance Minister in particular, should use this opportunity to set aside their suspicion of enterprise and their obsession with maintaining the public sector’s dominance of our economy. It’s time to join the government in supporting growth, jobs and hard-working families.”