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Londonderry Chamber Chief Executive says “ball in the court” of NI Ministers after UK Budget

Speaking after the publication of the Chancellor’s Budget and Spending Review today, Londonderry Chamber CEO Paul Clancy said:

“The Chancellor’s Budget published today puts the ball firmly in the court of our local ministers here in Northern Ireland. With a boost to the NI Executive coffers over the next year of £1.6bn through the Barnett formula, as well as a further £235m, it’s important that local ministers follow the lead of the Chancellor and cut business rates in Northern Ireland, especially for struggling sectors like hospitality and retail.

“The reduction to air passenger duty, however, is a welcome announcement and has been a longstanding ask of the local business community. This is a move which will boost our regional connectivity and enhance and reiterate the North West’s position as an attractive location for investment and for businesses across the UK. The reform of the alcohol duty system is also a positive step and represents a long overdue rationalisation of the system, one which will help hospitality businesses as they get back on their feet.

“It’s crucial now that the NI Executive, with a new three-year budget process in place, gives businesses, workers and consumers the certainty and support we need as we emerge from the pandemic by allocating these substantial funds to help create jobs, prosperity and economic growth.”