The Autumn Statement demonstrates that the government is determined to “spend taxpayers’ money wisely, reward hard work and help the vulnerable”, according to Conservative spokesman Frank Shivers.  Mr Shivers added that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had unveiled a “great deal for Northern Ireland, building upon commitments made through the Stormont House Agreement and the Fresh Start document.”

“It’s easy to forget that almost every penny government spends comes from hard-working tax-payers”, Frank remarked.  “George Osborne is absolutely aware of that and the Conservative government has consistently worked to make sure workers get to keep more of their wages and public money is spent responsibly, on vital public services.  The Autumn Statement reflects those principles, investing £6 billion in the NHS next year, which will mean additional investment in Northern Ireland, and ensuring that we’re safe, by boosting defence spending.  In addition, the chancellor has listened to concerns about cuts in tax credits and cancelled those changes altogether.”

“Conservatives in government have consistently provided money for new infrastructure across the UK and, in today’s statement, an extra £600 million is committed to building projects in Northern Ireland.  It’s up to the Executive to start using this money properly and effectively, rather than letting it get tied up in disagreements and underspends.  It’s also up to the Executive to start delivering balanced budgets, so that the government’s commitment to reduce Corporation Tax to 12.5 % can be implemented, allowing us to create thousands of new jobs.  Between the Chancellor’s announcements today and the government’s spending commitments in the Fresh Start document, it’s clearer than ever that Conservatives are delivering for Northern Ireland.  Meanwhile hardworking taxpayers are getting to keep more of their money, and the taxes they do pay are spent more carefully and to better effect.”