“the total package that we are talking about..”

A UTV & Press Association report quotes Prime Minister Chancellor Gordon Brown on Sky News – “I will then offer them capital expenditures for infrastructure development over a longer period of time and the total package that we are talking about for Northern Ireland is something in the order of £50 billion over the next period of time.” Which, as noted yesterday, is a very familiar figure.. Adds btw that’s not £50Billion over 4 years as the headline on the linked report claims. Update The linked report has since been edited to note the annoncement today.. but the original quotes are below the fold.
Gordon Brown also refers to an initial 4-year plan.. but the figure for the overall package, unsurprisingly, remains unchanged.

Asked about today`s meetings, he said: “I want to assure them that the new Executive, reconstituted, will be put on a firm and secure financial footing so that they will be able to make the investment in infrastructure that they need in Northern Ireland to be able to finance education and the other services that the UK Executive is responsible for.

“I want to offer them a four-year package of funding. We`re not doing that for other Government departments but we will do it for the Northern Ireland Executive to get them off to the best possible start.

“I will then offer them capital expenditures for infrastructure development over a longer period of time and the total package that we are talking about for Northern Ireland is something in the order of £50 billion over the next period of time.

“That is something that we can do to help Northern Ireland begin to improve its economy as well as improve its infrastructure.”

Update We now have some of the detail of Brown’s 4-year plan

After meeting Northern Ireland political leaders, Mr Brown said that in addition to the £35 billion pledged to a new Executive over the next four years, devolved ministers would be able to access £1 billion to enable them to do a number of things to improve infrastructure and job prospects in the north.

Mr Brown also revealed that the government had signed a retail consortium agreement with major companies to provide possibly 5,000 jobs for the province over the next few years.

He also confirmed that Sir David Varney, the former head of the Inland Revenue, had been asked to carry out a review of the different tax rates between Northern Ireland and the south.

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  • philip

    That means the MLAs will be able to get a pay rise after all!

  • protorious

    Great! With this funding package the Assembly will finally be able to kick off those well thoughout economic policies theyre always talking about.

    I give them one year before they commission a multimillion pound water purification facility run free of charge by the government to avoid water charges (aka the greatest threat to NI’s economic stability apparently).

    I just hope that Gordon Brown sends a glossary of economic terms over to the Assembly after the plan is finalised…

  • TKmaxx

    There is bugger all in that announcement – former Head of Inland Revenue to look at Corporation Tax issue- now theres a outcome that wont surprise anyone – and a retail initiative to create 5,000 new jobs – a future built on McDonalds

  • Gordon’s special advisor on ‘transitional government’ and former head of the inland Sir Revenue David Varney is to carry out the 6 month review of ‘current & future’ tax policy.

  • I think we can guess what the outcome of a review by a Whitehall official will be.
    Nevertheless, I think there is some comfort to be taken from the fact that Brown has been forced to acknowledge the Corporation Tax issue at all, given the serious problems it could create for him elsewhere.
    The SNP was already complaining about that Northern Ireland was getting more than Scotland after the relatively modest measures announced in the budget. It will be interesting to see what spin they put on the Varney review.

  • philip

    BBC2 has reported that corporation TAX for large manufacturers have decreased by 2%: small manufacturers however make up the majority in the UK and the same TAX has risen by the same percentage points.
    Given that large manufacturers are leaving Northern Ireland at a rate of knots it is not boding well for the economy – notwithstanding the spin of the service industry and public sectors: i.e. minimum wage and/or state sponsored jobs.

  • Crataegus

    This is the only part of the UK with a land border with another state. It isn’t just the difference in Corporation tax that is the problem but duty on petrol etc. Our tax structures do not favour local business growth. We need financial control here and if it means a few rough years so be it. At least we would be free of this degrading condescending handout crap.

    As for retail growth, bollocks.

  • smcgiff

    “the same TAX has risen by the same percentage points.”

    Worse – It was increased by 3 percentage points, IIRC.

  • protorious

    Cutting the corporation tax may in theory draw in large manufacturers to NI but its no garuntee.

    After all we are still competeing with the Republic in terms of attracting large scale manufacturing industries and I very much doubt that Mr Brown will cut the corporation tax to such a degree that it would actively compete with the Republics level (if he did so the SNP and the Tories would be chomping at the bit for the same).

    Even if Brown cut the corporation tax to a low level there is still the vital issue of companies feeling that there investment is secure. With incidents like the Newry Firebombings last year NI still has to go a way to convince businesses that they will be protected from such incidents (that is unless Brown wants to underwrite large insurance policies with government funds… which wouldn’t nessecarily be a bad thing).

  • suicides are up
    http://u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=81001&pt=n

    perhaps the naysayers need to reflect on the damage being done to ordinary lives in this process of endless prevarication, you surely must bear some of the blame!

  • Yokel

    Nothing to do with it Parcifal. Stop making a political point of out people’s suicides unless the suicides are directly relevant to political leaders or paramilitaries.

    In response to any future comment that you may pass supporting your argument:

    Bollocks.

    I just thought I’d get it in first.

  • GavBelfast

    So UTV’s exclusive yesterday, that fuel duties would be equalised in NI with those in the Republic, has been shown to be rubbish guesswork then?

    Another dilemma for the DUP: not exactly a great deal to show for saying ‘Yes’, is it?

  • yokel
    in poker that’s called I’ll see you for you bid and I’ll raise you double.

    why do you think the rate is the highest in Europe?

    Shocked by the neck on these politicians after meeting with Brown. Jaysus, the tax-payer has been funding NI as basket case for decades.
    Get off your feckin arses and put it right.
    Belfast—whinge capital of the World

  • Cato

    There’s more to the success of the South than just having low corporation tax rates.
    It seems to me that their education system is totally geared towards vocational subjects such as the sciences and IT and thus churns out thousands of graduates to do the sort of work inward investors will introduce.
    I am just not sure that the education system in Northern Ireland produces as many attractive graduates as the system in the South.

  • Lesh

    The begging of NI politicians makes me sick and sad to be from NI.
    Does Northern Ireland ever think that the books must balance.

    It is an insult to the people in the province that they are so relient on the British Tax-payer.

    How does it feel to be a charity case?

  • Under the EU’s Azores ruling, Northern Ireland would have to bear the cost of a corporation tax cut itself. As such, it would represent a real commitment towards building a sustainable economy, a point Jamie Delargy made very well on Radio Slugger recently.

  • gram

    Lesh:It is an insult to the people in the province that they are so relient on the British Tax-payer. < >How does it feel to be a charity case?<

  • gram

    parcifal:Shocked by the neck on these politicians after meeting with Brown. Jaysus, the tax-payer has been funding NI as basket case for decades.
    Get off your feckin arses and put it right.
    Belfast—whinge capital of the World<

  • gram join the republic 12.5% corporation tax

  • philip

    If wass Sinn Fein i would reject the post of DFM as direct rule seems be working to their advantage.

  • gram

    parcifal:gram join the republic 12.5% corporation tax <

  • observer

    Jaysus, the tax-payer has been funding NI as basket case for decades.

    Posted by parcifal on Mar 22, 2007 @ 02:47 PM

    as it has been doing with most english regions, scotland and wales.

    The difference is they didnt have catholics bombing and burning the economic heart out of their countries

  • JG

    “The N.I. tax payer are paying towards the $76Bn for trident, 9Bn for the London olympics and god knows how much for Iraq. None of which we voted for.”

    Not quite. NI “Taxpayers” sponge an extravagent subvention off the rest of the GB to keep it in the style that people are accustomed to.

  • IJP

    The N.I. tax payer are paying towards the $76Bn for trident, 9Bn for the London olympics and god knows how much for Iraq. None of which we voted for.

    Furthermore, we did vote for it, but voting to remain in the UK and by voting for parties which are exclusive to NI. Alternatives were and are there!

    If we didn’t want it to happen we could leave the UK, or at least vote for parties with clear links to those in GB.

    It’s always been clear that one penalty of our membership of the Union, made worse still by our preference for voting along sectarian lines, is a lack of say over our foreign/defence policy.