South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) has said that the British Chancellor’s Autumn Statement offers nothing to the vulnerable and working people who will be worse off.
Speaking from Westminster Ms Richie said: “This is another Tory budget that will hurt the vulnerable and many of those on lower incomes. This government have yet again left working people worse off. The stagnation in wage growth is damaging the whole economy, including public finances in Northern Ireland, and the OBR report shows real earnings are not forecast to return to pre-crisis levels within the next five years. “The UK government’s endorsement of corporation tax devolution is to be welcomed but this is balanced with a degree of caution. The parties need to know the details and the potential financial implications of corporation tax before it can form part of a meaningful budget deal. “The limited measures to freeze fuel duty and abolish APD for younger people are positive announcements but it was most disappointing that there was no mention whatsoever of a VAT cut for the tourism sector. This is a measure that could bring immediate growth and create jobs and investment. It has been enormously successful in the rest of Ireland and should be implemented at once.”]]>