Theresa Villiers Pre G8 package for Northern Ireland…

So, I’m on the hoof at the moment, but here’s Theresa Villiers (substantially Owen Patterson’s original outline) package:

  • An additional £100 million in capital borrowing powers for the Executive over 2014-15 and 2015-16 to support specific shared housing and education projects.
  • A further £42 (€50) million in UK funding for the PEACE IV programme and a £154 (€181) million top-up for EU Structural Funds for Northern Ireland for 2014-2020, bringing the total funding for economic and shared future projects through PEACE IV and EU Structural Funds to £550 million.
  • Continuing Northern Ireland’s Assisted Areas Status coverage, which has helped the Executive to create over 3,000 jobs in NI in the last three months alone.
  • Plans for a major G8 Investment Conference in Northern Ireland in October, to be attended by the Prime Minister.
  • Measures to boost lending to businesses, including extending the £117 million Start-up Loans Scheme to Northern Ireland and piloting a new version of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme with a bank in NI.
  • Unlocking access for Northern Ireland to the Government’s £40 billion Infrastructure Guarantee Scheme.
  • A joint £20 million investment plan for Research & Development projects in Northern Ireland, with a particular focus on aerospace.
  • A joint programme of work to examine the potential to gift up to 350 surplus MoD houses and bases for use in shared future projects.
  • Agreement on a mechanism for taking forward the devolution of Corporation Tax before the 2015 General Election, if the Government decides to devolve these powers.
  • A commitment to examine the potential for devolving additional fiscal powers, with recommendations to be put to Executive and Government Ministers by autumn 2014.
  • A new way forward on Enterprise Zones, which would allow NI businesses in designated areas to benefit from enhanced capital allowances.
  • A commitment to take forward a visa waiver pilot to encourage visitors to the Republic of Ireland to visit Northern Ireland.
  • A new process led by the Executive to ensure the planning system in Northern Ireland supports economic growth.
  • A substantial programme of work to examine how the financial potential of Belfast Port can be unlocked.
  • An Executive-led review of business red tape, including recommendations to reduce the regulatory burdens facing businesses, to report by December 2013.

Handy of the First Minister to get his interview in with The View before the details came out, but what do YOU think?

  • iluvni

    A whole load of bluff
    I’d have much rather heard that APD was to be scrapped.

  • APD – Air Passenger Duty?

  • jthree

    A load of balls which will have unravelled by the morning. Mainly stuff that was already announced plus a dollop of aspiration. The most significant thing is the maintenance of the status quo which allows INI to keep pumping out the grants.

  • sherdy

    Did I actually see Peter Punt nearly smiling this afternoon?
    Maybe standing alongside Dave Cam is the high point in his life

  • iluvni

    Yes, Mister Joe, I should have clarified that!

  • Yes, I agree that there’s a lot of essentially nothing here -plans, access etc, but isn’t the second item a little bit of real extra, about 200 million?

  • Mick Fealty

    Some disappointed border area TDs who were hoping they might have used these concessions to get something matching… Matching nothing with nothing = ?

    Press office at Stormont proving very shy of incoming queries….

  • jthree

    ‘but isn’t the second item a little bit of real extra, about 200 million?’

    It would be if it hadn’t already been announced in March.

  • jthree,

    I didn’t know that.

  • JH

    Stand-outs for me are the commitments to look at further devolution of fiscal powers and looking for opportunities at Belfast Port.

    But that isn’t saying much. Because we won’t even have a decision on corporation tax until 2014, one would assume more than that will take much longer. And frankly we don’t have time to wait around for this kind of thing.

    I don’t believe the lending schemes will work, there’s no precedent for that. We all bailed out our banks to the tune of tens of billions and they still won’t lend.

    The rest reads like bluster. Extra borrowing powers? So. Assisted status? That’s nothing new. £20m for R&D is effective funding of maybe £7-8m, the rest will disappear.

  • cynic2

    I assume the NIO are opening a waffle concess that this lot of reheated make-overs. No real new modey. ion at Stormont. That waffle might have more substance