Additional £250m could boost major infrastructure projects

An artist's impression of a new York Street Interchange, where the Westlink, M2 and M3 meet

THE Northern Ireland Executive is to get an additional £250 million over the next five years as a consequence of the British chancellor's autumn statement.

More detail on how that money will be spent is expected when Stormont's finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir delivers his own budget next month.

The extra funding is available due to change announced by Philip Hammond to funding for matters that are devolved to the north.

Major announcements that directly affect Northern Ireland included the freezing of fuel duty for a seventh successive year while the national living wage is set to increase from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour.

Meanwhile, the north's universities could benefit from an increase in research and development funding by £2 billion a year by 2020-21.

And Mr Hammond also pledged further investments to bring forward 5G infrastructure.

The personal tax allowance will also rise to £12,500 by the end of this parliament, the chancellor said.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said: "I strongly welcome the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today which takes forward this government’s commitment to build an economy that works for everyone, in Northern Ireland and the whole of our United Kingdom.

"Northern Ireland will benefit from over £250m infrastructure capital funding which will enable the Executive to invest in key infrastructure projects to support future growth.

"New investment in research and development and changes to the corporation tax regime is designed to help business and boost productivity and innovation over the long term. The government remains committed to the devolution of corporation tax to the Executive so long as it demonstrates that its finances are on a sustainable footing.

"Families and ordinary working people will welcome the rise in the National Living Wage and changes to Universal Credit to ensure people keep more of what they earn. Together with a further freeze in fuel duty saving motorists on average £10 every time they fill up their car, today’s measures will provide greater financial security and help Northern Ireland prosper and grow."


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