Executive is stalling the economy - Andrews

Northern Ireland’s economy is stalling because the Executive is “fostering uncertainty” by failing to implement welfare reform and agree a budget, according to Conservative economy spokesman, Johnny Andrews.

“Danske Bank is now predicting a lower rate of growth, because ministers at Stormont haven’t got their act together”, Johnny explained.  “In context, Northern Ireland’s economic performance has already slipped well behind the rest of the UK, because the Executive is not focussed enough on encouraging private enterprise, rather than protecting bureaucracy is its own departments.  It’s particularly sad that, thanks to Conservatives in government, we’ve now got powers to create thousands of jobs, by setting a date and a rate for cuts to Corporation Tax, which are sitting unused, while the Stormont parties cannot even agree a balanced budget or implement the Stormont House Agreement. We need to grasp economic policy levers like these, to remove uncertainty over potential foreign direct investment and emphasise we are open for business.”

“At every turn, it seems when Northern Ireland has opportunities for a better economy, the Executive holds back the private sector and stifles aspiration.  The Conservative government’s UK wide action means that inflation remains at record low levels and employment continues to grow, while the Executive has agreed a fantasy budget, based on a substantial shortfall.  More than ever, Stormont needs reform and sensible, centre-right politics, to make sure we have a fit for purpose welfare system, a focus on skills and a budget centred on creating prosperity through enterprise, for everyone in Northern Ireland. "