Government delivers for Northern Ireland again as APD is slashed

Northern Ireland Conservatives’ chairman, Irwin Armstrong, has hailed George Osborne’s decision to cut Air Passenger Duty for long haul flights, as “another example of a government which is listening to people in Northern Ireland and delivering for them”.

Sammy condemns unemployed to 4 more years of misery

Northern Ireland Conservatives chairman, Irwin Armstrong, said it “beggars belief” that Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, will not consider cutting corporation tax for at least four more years, should the power to do so be devolved to Stormont.

NI Conservatives welcome double jobbing report

Julian Robertson, spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Conservatives, today welcomed a fresh call from the Committee on Standards in Public Life to end the practice of double-jobbing by politicians.

Government has steered our economy away from disaster

Councillor Tom Smith recently gave full vent to DUP ‘little-Ulster’ nationalism, in a letter supposedly critiquing the government's economic policy and accusing it of conspiring to benefit the rich, by removing the 50p tax band.  Anyone with an ounce of concern for the UK’s national finances realises that the current government has steered our economy away from disaster with its prompt action to tackle the deficit.  

NI Conservatives welcome progress on more democratic politics

Irwin Armstrong, chairman of the Northern Ireland Conservatives, has welcomed “real progress” toward cutting the number of MPs at Westminster, after the boundary commission in Northern Ireland released its plans for a new electoral map.

Government making sure armed forces in good nick

Harry Stephenson is right to praise the bravery of the armed forces in his letter to the Belfast Telegraph, dated 7 September, but he is wrong to accuse the government of neglecting its military.  The UK is rightfully proud of punching above its weight in the international arena and events in Libya have proven, once again, that our forces are among the very best in the world.We currently spend £35 billion on defence annually.  By 2015 the government will still spend that amount of money.  That means the UK has the fourth largest defence budget in the world.  There is an ongoing process to make sure that our armed forces remain at the highest possible level: streamlined and prepared for the challenges of the modern world.  By the end of that process the UK will have a nuclear deterrent, a brand new fleet of submarines, a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, new destroyers and new fighter jets. The government is giving the British military the backing it needs and deserves.  The prime minister is hugely proud of the job the armed forces did in Libya.  In conjunction with Liam Fox at the ministry of defence, David Cameron will ensure that our forces are prepared for any challenges which may confront them in the future. 

Grammar schools right to query entitlement framework

Grammar schools are right to highlight problems with the Department of Education’s ‘entitlement framework’, which requires all secondary schools to provide a broad range of courses in both academic and practical disciplines.  There is a very real danger that forcing schools to provide courses which only a tiny number of pupils want to study will stretch resources for key subjects to breaking point. 

Secretary of State attends North Down BBQ

The North Down Conservative Association held its annual barbeque at the museum in Bangor on Saturday evening.  Association chairman, Paul Leeman, welcomed the secretary of state, Owen Paterson, who reiterated the Conservative party’s continuing commitment to Northern Ireland.

McIlwrath calls on Stormont parties to support government's welfare plans

Northern Ireland Conservatives’ spokesperson, Steve McIlwrath, has welcomed the introduction of a ‘one strike’ policy to combat benefit fraud but emphasised that “more needs to be done” to tackle welfare dependency in Northern Ireland and called upon the parties at Stormont to throw their weight behind the government’s efforts to reform welfare.