Newry Times Budget 2012 special
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Budget 2012, News, Politics
There has been a mixed reaction to the 2012 Budget in the local community, with many people stating that they will reserve judgement on it until they see how it is implemented. At first glance, low income families appear to be no better off, which Finance Minister Sammy Wilson expressed anger about. Wilson also expressed concern over the announcement on greater regionalisation of public sector pay. He pointed out that public sector pay in Northern Ireland is already 3.5 % below the UK average.
Wilson said, “The size of the public sector in Northern Ireland is similar to many other UK regions. The problem we face is that our private sector is too small. Therefore seeking to suppress the public sector pay here – something that is a key stimulus in local economic activity – will only impose greater differences in economic growth rates across the UK. 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.”
The British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Patterson, disagreed however, and instead insisted that the measures provided ‘significant help’ to hard working families.
Patterson said, “The increase in income tax personal allowances by a further £1,100 in April 2013 – the largest in 30 years – will benefit 605,000 people in Northern Ireland, and lift 25,000 out of income tax. 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.”
Key points of the 2012 Budget:
* Tax free personal allowance will be raised to £9,205.
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