11 March 2020
Rain Newton Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:
“With so many pressing challenges facing the Northern Ireland Executive, from bolstering our schools and hospitals to upgrading our infrastructure, the news of additional funding for Stormont is always welcome. However, public expenditure uplifts from this budget cannot meet the huge funding deficit challenge in Northern Ireland. Alternative initiatives which involve private sector investment as well as the introduction of new funding models for infrastructure or Higher Education delivery must be considered if the local economy is to thrive.
“The Government’s support outlined in the budget for businesses impacted by COVID-19 is very welcome and we hope to see the Northern Ireland Executive take equivalent actions for local firms especially, around business rates support measures. As we face huge challenges, from climate change to COVID-19, we need to do whatever we can to level-up Northern Ireland and make sure it remains a great place to live, work and do business.”