Budget Analysis 2018
30 October 2018
"It is clear that our economy is continuing to face challenges; growth forecasts are better but only marginally at 1.6% up from 1.3%. Growth is then estimated at 1.4% for 2020 and 2021, 1.5% in 2022 and 1.6% in 2023. These growth rates are however subject to revision dependent on what Brexit deal is achieved. We have been calling for more support for businesses who want to invest in Northern Ireland and this budget has gone some way to providing this, particularly with the announcement of the increase of the Annual Investment Allowance from £200k to £1m. This increase will stimulate business investment within the manufacturing industry, giving certainty to businesses planning to invest.
Overall, in monetary terms, this budget is worth an additional £320m for the Northern Ireland block grant, which is to be welcomed. The commitment of £350million for the Belfast Region City Deal is also good news, which will aid future economic growth for the region. The commitment to opening discussions for a similar deal for Derry Strabane is also a positive.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, to see no movement on either NI Tourism VAT rates or Air Passenger Duty, which from April 2020 will go up in line with inflation but there will be no change to short-haul rates. These are issues that have been long standing and have an impact on our tourism offering – long term they need to be addressed."
Read our full Budget 2018 Analysis below: