Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Daithí McKay has slammed today’s British Budget as being of little benefit to our economy.
Mr McKay said:
“The main message coming out of this budget is that the Tory Chancellor is determined to continue on the failed path of austerity regardless of the devastation it will inflict on the most vulnerable in society.
“The cap on the welfare budget will further reduce the disposable incomes of families here and put more strain on the local economy.
“While welcome, the proposed Enterprise Zone for Coleraine will be cold comfort to the 300 public sector workers who have lost their jobs in that town’s DVA office.
The North Antrim MLA continued:
“While the DUP ministers talked up the probability that APD for flights between here and Britain would be scrapped, it didn’t materialise.
“And while there will be no increase in fuel duty this year the North is specifically excluded from the Fuel Duty Rebate Scheme despite households here paying 45% more for fuel than residents of Britain.
Mr McKay concluded:
“While the DUP refuse to support transfer of fiscal powers to the Executive, Mr Osborne announced the transfer of more tax and borrowing powers to the Welsh Assembly.
“Rather than continued austerity budgets imposed by Westminster it is time that the DUP joined us in demanding full fiscal powers so that we can devise our own economic strategy.
“What is required is progressive taxation, investment in job creation, infrastructure, education and essential services in order to increase competitiveness. We believe that the people on this island are best placed to construct and manage that strategy and grow the economy for the benefits of the people here.
“There is a better way - with confidence in our own ability we can design policies relevant to our circumstances. An all-Ireland economy co-operating with interconnected and interdependent economies – including Britain will benefit all residents of this island and threaten no one.”