#Budget2012: Rewarding Northern Ireland’s hard working families…

This is a budget to reward hard work and ensure that the UK pays its way in the world. It reasserts our determination to put the public finances on a stable footing which is essential to support economic growth, keep interest rates low and protect jobs in all parts of the UK.

The measures announced today provide really significant help to hard working families in Northern Ireland. The increase in income tax personal allowances by a further £1,100 in April 2013 – the largest in thirty years – will benefit 605,000 people in Northern Ireland, and lift 25,000 out of income tax.

I am proud that this Government has taken 2 million people across the UK out of tax altogether.
In addition, raising the individual threshold for the withdrawal of child benefit to £50,000 will benefit 16,000 households in Northern Ireland.

This is also a budget for jobs and business growth, which are key objectives shared by both the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

The reduction in Corporation Tax to 22 per cent by 2014 will be a real help to Northern Ireland in encouraging the private sector and seeking international inward investment. At the same time, we are continuing to work intensively through options for devolving Corporation Tax to Northern Ireland.

Tax relief for high-end TV production recognises and boosts Northern Ireland’s burgeoning creative industries. There is up to £13.7m to make Belfast a super-connected city with ultra-fast broadband. There is new money to improve mobile coverage along the A2 coast road and A29 Coleraine-Armagh, benefiting road-users and households.

The budget can provide these benefits now because of the decisions we have taken to reduce the record deficit we inherited. Thanks to the reduction in the deficit, and our low interest rates, this Government is saving a total of £36 billion in debt interest payments compared to its predecessor. Our measures will ensure the continued stability of the UK economy, create a fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system, and support growth.

Northern Ireland will benefit significantly from today’s budget, and it offers a firm-foundation for business-led prosperity in the future. Along with the Executive will work to make the most of the opportunities it offers.

  • andnowwhat

    Mobile coverage, eh?

    And there was me worrying about feeding my family and keeping the car (needed for work) on the road. I feel like such an eejit now

  • Drumlins Rock

    Welcome to Slugger O’Toole Secretary of State. We may be blunt at times but are quite civilised when away from a keyboard.

    Was not impressed that the fuel costs are going up again, it makes things very difficult for those in rural areas, forcing trade over the border as well as encouraging the smugglers and launderers.

    On the other hand the lower tax limit is goos and hopefully the TV tax relief will put NI on the map for production and tourism.

    As for telecommunications, wonder could you have a wee look at the mobile coverage along the Tyrone/Monaghan Border while your at it ?

  • tacapall

    “Our measures will ensure the continued stability of the UK economy, create a fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system, and support growth.”

    Otherwise known as making it easier for the rich to get richer. Nice to see the Sheriff of Nottingham come and tell us how well off we are anyway.

  • DT123

    Road diesel and domestic heating oil are ruining the economy in Northern Ireland.The most expensive fuel in western Europe and the country most dependent on oil for home heating.Absoloutely nothing done to help with either.

  • Mr Patterson,
    I dont know who these hard working families are….certainly not mine. Ive taught them better.
    I will be judging this budget solely on the issue of my bus pass. The essence of a budget is planning ones finances. Arbitrary changes like unexpectedly having to work longer (I am not affected) is a big drain on these people who might be said to have worked hard.
    In my own way I have been looking forward just 50 days to getting my bus pass enabling me to travel the length and breadth of Norn Iron.
    I will be mightily annoyed if there is a local announcement to the effect that the free bus travel for “60 and over” has been abolished. So near and yet so far.

    On a serious note, too many people have had to adjust their expectations downwards…..except of course bankers.
    Obviously its nice to see photogenic conservative MPS outside Westminster spinning how great it all is. But really its politics NOT economics.

  • andnowwhat

    Now FJH, as you well know, heavy labour outdoor workers will be happy to work through the extra old winters thanks to our great, didn’t actually get the mandate to do what they’re doing, government.

    Well said on the fuel etc, DT123. Of course, that won’t matter a jot when they are reducing the wages of ordinary public service employees.

    Hopefully the good people of London and beyond can use the world’s attention to show this government what they really think during the Olympics.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s one t FJH…

  • changeisneeded

    Here Owen , when are you English lot going to get out of Ireland and give us our country back?

  • andnowwhat

    Can’t see anyone else beating Changeisneeded’s comment for comedy value.

    Not much point in me asking why the tories supported slavery for all those years now

  • tyrone_taggart

    Its nice to see your up to the Broadband terms of speeds/spends ie “There is up to £13.7m”, as broadband uses know in fact in the real world the spend could be as low as £10 and you still meet the terms of contract.

    The term “ultra-fast broadband” has no meaning. Can you give us the technical minimum speeds that you are talking about. If you cannot I bet you can give what it will be “up to”

    NB: As you are now using ” new money” can I have the old stuff?

    From you post:

    “There is up to £13.7m to make Belfast a super-connected city with ultra-fast broadband. There is new money to improve mobile coverage along the A2 coast road and A29 Coleraine-Armagh, benefiting road-users and households.”

  • FuturePhysicist

    I’m tipping you, Cable and Willets to go in the next cabinet reshuffle, you can brag about how well Northern Ireland and the British Economy is doing from the squeezed upper middle class tax bracket.

  • lamhdearg2

    Mr paterson, where do you buy your petrol.

  • andnowwhat

    Now now Future. We have to look after the city or all those gifted bankers who got us in to this mess in the first place will take their “talents” abroad.

    Funny enough, we have a major A&E closed because people with real talents, doctors, took their’s elsewhere

  • andnowwhat

    Future, they won’t get rid off Cable. He’s a vital part of the illusion that the LDs are of any importance to the tories

  • sdelaneys

    “There is new money to improve mobile coverage along the A2 coast road and A29 Coleraine-Armagh, benefiting road-users and households.”
    There are a few sections of that A29 road which need work or is that what he means by ‘mobile coverage’? If he’s interested in mobile phone coverage he should try the sth Armagh border area where ‘wait , I’ll go up stairs..’ is the normal answer we get and give on mobiles.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Future, they won’t get rid off Cable. He’s a vital part of the illusion that the LDs are of any importance to the tories

    Cable could probably be moved to DWP, if unemployment keeps rising it’ll be as coushy a job as Deputy Prime Minister.

  • lamhdearg2

    sdelaneys, sth armagh asking the brits for help, what sort of irish patriots are yis.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Take no notice Owen,compared to the basket case,south of the border,we in the good old UK are doing fairly well,thank you very much. 😉

  • Drumlins Rock

    sdelaneys, its important to improve coverage on the A29 so you can call an ambulance when you have an accident.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    An excellent budget for NI, the national reduction in Corporation Tax reduces the cost of a cut here.

    If you are working the increases in tax allowances will be beneficial, few here will miss out on child allowances.

    APD for long haul is devolved, better internet and telecommunications and much much more.

    A good budget for the UK and even better for NI.

  • lamhdearg2

    just done the calulator thingy on the bbc news site, turns out we (my household) will be better off, all i need how is food prices to fall.

  • Mick Fealty

    Not sure how complete that is… we’re down 288…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17442946

  • Zig70

    Seems like a lot of dithering on devolving corporation tax. What’s the excuse? I’ll never understand why the English vote Tory.
    50p is a bit of a sham and dressed up as you’ll stop the tax loop holes, where you admit they effectively don’t pay the 50p rate in the first place.

  • lamhdearg2

    we are up 401, or 30 less if we let the devils vomit back in the house.

  • andnowwhat

    Does NI have a stock exchange?

    I want to invest in illegal cigarette importers

  • DC

    Here Owen , when are you English lot going to get out of Ireland and give us our country back?

    Prob around the same time the 6 million Irish leave Britain.

  • DC

    Mick included.

  • DC

    Anyway, today was the day the Tories disconnected from the ordinary voter and reconnected with big business. Faustian pact.

  • Zig70

    I’d have to ask the wife how much I earn and how much the poodle gets to use the calculator. Does the 50p cut apply to yer dog as well?

  • lamhdearg2

    DC, how do you and yours do, on micks link, watching the news tonight, i thought, torys looking after the rich (top rate cut) that will lose them votes, but having done the/having let the bbc do the math,i am quite happy.

  • FuturePhysicist

    @Mike Fealty

    I Broke Even … WINNER!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Zig,

    Did you hear Sammy on UTV?

    From what I can make, Owen is in favour, George is wary and Sammy is not at all keen since the Executive will have to manage any short fall in funding.

  • DC

    £146 better off, of course, that is all fine and dandy but working in the public sector that ‘better off’ scenario could be reduced to naught if i become unemployed as a result of public sector cuts (to reduce the deficit racked up bailing out banks) and end up drawing down benefits.

  • Mick Fealty

    BTW, None of us smoke and I put in just a few glasses of wine a week… That and petrol use… Sammy’s point that giving take breaks to people who won’t spend it on reflating a depressed retail market is well made…

  • Drumlins Rock

    123 quid better off, dosn’t like it at the pumps though, thats the nasty bit.

  • lamhdearg2

    i will assume sammy was refering to the tax break given to the high end, the little i save will be spent.

  • BluesJazz

    £347 a year better off in a world recession. Good Tory budget. And no tax on red diesel (70p a litre) means my work commute remains cheap.
    Cheers Owen.

  • DC

    @andnowwhat

    Good point about the cigarettes, thankfully i stopped years ago, but the treasury can forget any expectations of this putting more money into the government coffers, as you rightly spot, the black market will explode and the cease-fire, peace loving paramilitaries will become even richer.

    Surely the Tories should recognise, similarly to the wealthy who apparently found ways to avoid that 50p rate, that the less well off will also find a way to get round paying more for their cigarettes, esp if the less well off realise that the cigs are being overtaxed to the point that the legal price of cigs now act seems quite perverse and illegal, whereas bizarrely, the black market ones quite legit. Same for petrol in NI.

    Cigarettes, petrol and booze should be left well alone, tax the rich?

  • OneNI

    This is a great budget for NI because the large increase in the income tax threshold will help NI disproportionately becuase sadly we have so many people who are low paid.
    Over 600,000 Working people better off – 50p tax a distraction.
    Combined with the welfare reforms we can gradually being the slow process of building the economy here
    Cut in corporation tax is good news too.
    The damage done by Labour cannot be understated – remember in ten years of boom the 200,000 plus ‘economically inactive’ people remained completely unchanged.
    Great to have a Govt who is prepared to take tough decisions – the contrast with the NI Exec who are afraid to re-introduce prescription charges, afraid to reduce the size of the public sector and afraid to tackle public sector pay – is very marked

  • lamhdearg2

    cigs and booze are life choices, tax them more, and clamp down on the black market, no point taxing the rich more, they will only give themselves a payrise.

  • DC

    cigs and booze are life choices

    A bit like yachts and having three or four houses, better off keeping the 50p rate as well then?

  • lamhdearg2

    then tax the Yachts and second homes, but then they are doing that,the yachts anyway.

  • FuturePhysicist

    I think the best thing to do would make rich people claim their 5% reduction from the benefits office … then everyone would be happy, wouldn’t they?

  • OneNI

    Sammy Wilson:
    “I am also outraged that the chancellor has not done more to provide assistance to those on low incomes and bring families out of poverty including a reduction in fuel duty.”

    Sammy clearly does not understand income tax or thresholds. and to think he is in charge of the Executive’s piggy bank

  • OneNI

    Socialist Sammy populist attacks on Westminster prove he is more an Ulster Nationalist than a Unionist – no mention for Sammy about the what might or might not be good for the good economy of the UK it was all about how NI was being badly treated by London and how he was going to have to ‘fight’ Westminster. Some Unionist you Sammy!!

  • lamhdearg2

    please tell me those numptys are not making the choices, surely they do as the C.S. tells them, when it comes to lolly at least.

  • BluesJazz

    I actually don’t know anyone (well a few elderley) who pays tax on diesel. Petrol cars are rare in rural areas.
    And, though i’m no longer a smoker of many years, most buy black market at many shops at half the price.

    No problem with this (never been dipped for red diesel in 30 years) and the cigs are lifestyle.

    I get the feeling, though, 10/20/30 years from now, someone is gona be called to account for the debt, and our tax free diesel will be no more.

  • Catherine Couvert

    When I started reading this thread, I didn’t think it would turn out to be such brilliant comedy.
    There are very serious issues in this budget,and I don’t see any reason to rejoice over tax cuts (even for those who find themselves better off according to the BBC calculator 😉 ) when they go hand in hand with cuts in health and social services, in disability benefits, in support for older people etc… Since when has providing a safety net for the most vulnerable in our society a bad thing? Etc, etc…
    Still, thanks for giving me a bit of a laugh about it all, folks.

  • Catherine Couvert

    I meant “become a bad thing”, sorry

  • Coll Ciotach

    Mobile coverage on the A2 and A29 is a brilliant move, perhaps we can save up to afford the fuel to power our vehicles in order to take advantage of the great reception.

  • FuturePhysicist

    This has as much capacity drive business-led prosperity here as a Tory has of winning a seat in Wrexham.

  • chinadog

    Not sure whether Owen Paterson lives in the same world as the rest of us I am afraid Broadband is not going to put food on the table or oil in the tank or clothes on the children but when you look at the Collation Cabinet most if not all are millionaires or multi millionaires unlike the folk in Northern Ireland who are made up mostly of children and older people like me who survives on a pension and because I have a small occupational pension from my late husband I get no benefits. They cut the fuel allowance last winter they tax my old age pension because I am willing to work a few hours a week and now they are scraping my age related tax allowance which means I will be £280 a year down yet I am getting an increase of £200 with my tax deducted from it. It is easy to see that the Tories have no votes here and if and when they stand here people should remember what they have done. It seems again that they have rewarded their rich cronies and left the rest of us to make up the shortfall. It is generally the older generation that take the bother to vote.

  • OneNI

    Yes me old China dog Paterson lives in the same world as you. He has a VERY rural constituency where the Fuel duty rise will be very unpopular and more than his share of pensioners – some of whom will be slightly worse off after the Budget changes.
    Sadly for Owen -unlike the impotent wind bags that pass for MPs here – he cant spout a load of populist nonsense He actually has to stand by some tough decisions.
    When you talk about people remembering what the Tories ‘have done’ ask yourself why have they done it? The answer is to undo the mess that Labour created.
    Incidentially broadband might put food on the table and oil in the tank if it brings in more US legal and healthcare companies such as the two who have announced 150 jobs for NI in the last few days
    You can be sure of one thing however, it is the tough decisions by the Tories that will revive our economy – not the hand wringing of Sammy et al

  • FuturePhysicist

    You can be sure of one thing however, it is the tough decisions by the Tories that will revive our economy – not the hand wringing of Sammy et al

    Owen Paterson’s fiscal role in the economy here is basically limited to the provision of broadband and communications here, frankly his portfolio barely merits a ministry, and a greater public sector efficiency could be made by merging all the Secretary of States for the regions into a single ministry. Osborne’s to blame for Barnett and for almost everything else.

    The Conservatives introduced enterprise zones before and it was a fly by night disaster, in reaction to this budget the share price of 5 of the 6 major local private sector businesses dropped. UTV the only beneficiary. They are a bunch of impractical intellectuals whose mistakes are driven not by industry, or by their constituents, but by little social cliques.

    It’ll be up to the Assembly to ensure people get jobs, the delusion that we all can work in call centres and film sets is utterly deranged, and we really can’t fault our brain drain if massive cuts to market leading science is given to market failing animation, which is happening under Willet’s watch.

    Only hard work and intelligence will revitalize the regional economy, and boost the export market … this is an insult to both.

  • OneNI

    FuturePhysicist You confused? It’s got nothing to do with the role of the SoS – he is a representative of the Govt. He defends the Govt policy – an alien concept to NI I’ll grant you

    ‘Osborne’s to blame for Barnett’ ??

    You rant stereo typicallly but dont say what is wrong with the Conservatives policies let alone suggest alternatives.

    If you truely believe the Assembly will produce jobs you will be very dissapointed – only businesses create jobs and as I say Tories are taking tough decisions to deal with the deficit, make work pay and increase competitiveness and to boost business by cutting company tax.
    What are the Exec doing – oh yes increasing taxes on large retailers and …eh that’s it

  • FuturePhysicist

    OneNI – I am not confused, apparently it is his job to defend government policy but I believe he’s done a bad job. We had this very government plug £7 billion into an employment program that created only 7 jobs … now is that worth praising?

    You know very well either you or I would’ve done a lot better with that provision. Suggest alternatives? There isn’t enough hours in the day to do that justice.

    Similarly was Black Wednesday good for business? Youth unemployment is the biggest weeds in the garden and I see nothing in the budget to help business try and change it. My suggestion is to focus on that before the knowledge bank and labour bank go toxic, along with the currency banks.

    All they’ve done is actually make money and political currency off it, Willets has put more effort selling a book on youth unemployment than he has coming up with measures to tackle the problem. He loses money from his dystopian loving readership if young people start working.

    With regard to Osborne, when I said he’s to blame for Barnett, I meant that the buck stops with him at Barnett, Naturally Professor Barnett is to blame for Barnett. I didn’t make that clear and that was my mistake.

    But I think you are confused, tax cuts alone in a fiscally neutral budget are minimal, 4000 millionaires have more to put in the bank though 2 of them might have to pay property taxes. Corporation tax is reduced at the high end, which alone won’t attract foreign direct investment and doesn’t assist the small to medium enterprises here.

    In terms of incentives, I’m convinced business leaders here are more tax credit phobic than they are in GB or ROI. For Paterson not to know that shows typical regional ignorance, but it’s the Assembly and in particular InvestNI’s fault that it hasn’t changed.

    Similarly most of the £14 million that the Executive gains is from removing tax loop holes, however how this works in a border region economy is a completely different science than it would be in GB. At the end of the day most of the revenue raised is expected to come from business.

    So you’re wrong, I don’t see a single business tax cut here but for the corporation tax on the likes of Seagate and Bombardier etc. who’ll probably pay for it in terms of a cut in subsidy. The only claim I believe small to medium business has made taxation simpler.

    As for Sammy’s levy on Tescos, well he’s trying to save small businesses by it which is good for competition, it might be a bit of a parish pump, it might even cause inflation to the consumer, or damage some regional farmer or manufacturer’s arrangement with the company. Minor parish pumping in comparison to successive British governments both Labour and Conservative led supporting the businesses which are on their stock portfolio and hedge funds.

  • FuturePhysicist
  • FuturePhysicist
  • FuturePhysicist
  • The growth which the Government genuinely wants for Northern Ireland will come eventually but it will be preceded by contraction in the short and medium term to facilitate the following objectives:-
    (a) the policy to contract public service pay to its regional private sector equivalent
    (b) the drive to reform welfare

    Both of these measures will remove a substantial amount of money out of the NI economy. In the latter case, this is because an excessive number of people in NI that are on benefit.

    That is not to say these measures are bad, in the long run. However, I would like to have seen more investment in capital projects by the Government to help with the transition away from a state dependent economy.

  • chinadog

    To OneNI and the rest of the Tory cronies on this blog defending the indefensible, I really cannot for the life understand how you can defend this Tory government considering what it has done with Pensioners, Children and the disabled but they have to reward their rich cronies, donors etc so we are easy targets shame on you but perhaps you are one of their rich cronies to. I am not the only loser but as a pensioner I have lost from April £83 a year in total even with the meagre increase in pension defend that but the millionaires in the Tory party that includes all the front benches and more would not understand the way the rest of us survive

  • OneNI

    I suggest you write toDavid Milliband. The Labour party did huge damage to the country’s finances and you appear to be suffering from the consequences of that mismanagement.
    It was terrible that they undermined the state pension in particular

  • FuturePhysicist

    To assume that the Conservatives are managing is an understatement … it is possible to bust a plateau not just a boom as Black Wednesday shows, and youth unemployment is eroding the cliffface the comfortable house the Conservatives seem to be sitting in.

    This budget rewards old money at the expense of old people, the problem is that old money will die off in a generation, no matter how you try to change things. The PPE Oxbridge elites haven’t managed anything but to shuffle money around and print a little bit extra, there’s no targeted spending or cuts here that will help real exporters, manufacturers or employers.