'NI too dependent on public purse'

Published Thursday, 07 March 2013
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Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has warned that Northern Ireland "remains far too dependent on public spending".

'NI too dependent on public purse'
Theresa Villiers said NI's private sector needs to be revived. (© UTV)

Ms Villiers made the comments to politicians and business leaders at a Stormont dinner on Thursday, where she discussed how economic growth could be restored to the UK and Northern Ireland.

She said that around three quarters of the region's GDP was reportedly reliant on public spending, which "isn't sustainable" and would not "underpin economic activity".

She also said that the private sector needs to be revived as unemployment levels are still too high.

The Secretary of State praised local "world class" companies such as Wrightbus, Bombardier and Bushmills as examples of local businesses thriving globally.

She highlighted a number of measures being taken by Whitehall to help boost Northern Ireland's reputation and economy.

These included devolving long-haul Air Passenger Duty and Londonderry receiving a £13m investment to create "super-connected cities".

Ms Villiers said Prime Minister David Cameron personally chose to bring the G8 Summit of world leaders to Co Fermanagh "to show the world how much it has achieved".

"Here in Northern Ireland in June we'll welcome eight of the most powerful leaders in the world when the G8 Summit takes place in Co Fermanagh. It's an opportunity to highlight the very best of Northern Ireland on a global stage," she said.

Ms Villiers said the PM was still considering the case for devolving Corporation Tax powers to the Assembly, and would be discussing this with the First and deputy First Ministers next week.

She commented: "Just like my predecessor, Owen Paterson, I believe that devolving Corporation Tax has the potential to stimulate significant economic growth in Northern Ireland and that's a case I am making to my Cabinet colleagues in Westminster."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Vinny Dublin in Finglas Dublin wrote (502 days ago):
We need a united Ireland,north and south together could be sooooooo good.........
Ryan in Belfast wrote (502 days ago):
The reality is the 6 counties have been neglected by the UK for decades. You have unionists going around with this nonsense notion that we're "richer" and "better" within the UK, well i say to those unionists who say that to go around the communities of east and west belfast and say that and you certainly wont have people agreeing with you. The reality is the vast majority of protestants favour the british union simply due to social and political reasons going back, literally, centuries. Other neglected areas of the UK is Scotland and the North of England. The only thing the UK goverments cares about is the financial district of London. While northern ireland lives off the public purse, dont be fooled into thinking we get alot of money, we certainly dont, we get pennies compared to what others get. And before anyone makes foolish quotes about a United Ireland or the current situation in the 26 counties, remember this: the ROI had the best quality of life in the WORLD in 2005 and in 2011, even the midest of a global economic storm, the ROI ranked 10th in the world for best quality of life for its people, the UK ranked 18th. The facts are there to see.
realistic in planet earth wrote (502 days ago):
"It's an opportunity to highlight the very best of Northern Ireland on a global stage," LMAO- that's not going to take long! :)
Rory in Dublin wrote (503 days ago):
Belfast and Derry are the 2nd and 3rd poorest part of the UK and that is a fact. If your going to stay in the UK then at least stick up for yourselves to sustain some sort of dignity and normality in the North. The whole image of modern Northern Ireland 21st century with billions being pumped into by Irish Americans and London has worn off. We all no how it is now and nobody can hide it. Worst child poverty in the UK. Not a laughing matter or a reason for the DUP and Sinn Fein to have a slagging match
Marky in @home. wrote (503 days ago):
Over governed dear SOS, cut the jobs for the boys, save millions.
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