Record £15 billion per year for Northern Ireland

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Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Autumn Budget 2021 delivers the largest annual funding settlement to Northern Ireland since devolution, helping level up across the whole of the UK.

The Chancellor yesterday announced Barnett-based funding for the Executive of £15 billion per year – delivering the largest annual funding settlement since devolution over 20 years ago. This includes a £1.6 billion per year spending boost – as part of a Budget and Spending Review that delivers a stronger economy for the whole of the UK.

Rishi Sunak set out a plan to deliver the priorities of the people of Northern Ireland by investing in stronger public services, levelling up opportunity, driving business growth and helping working families with the cost of living.

As part of the significant spending plans, Northern Ireland will receive an average of £15 billion per year in Barnett-based funding representing a 2.2% rise in the Northern Ireland Executive’s budget each year. The Northern Ireland Executive will now receive around £121 per person for every £100 per person of equivalent UK Government spending in England.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said:

This is a budget for the whole of the UK. We’re focused on what matters most to the people of Northern Ireland – the health of their loved ones, access to world-class public services, jobs for the future and tackling climate change.

The UK government is committed to levelling up opportunity and ensuring Northern Ireland feels the strength of our Union with a record £15 billion per year for the Executive – we are better together as one United Kingdom.

We’re also creating jobs with £70 million for small businesses in Northern Ireland and a new trade and investment hub in Belfast while also ensuring public services deliver across the country.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis said:

Today is a significant moment for Northern Ireland, as the Executive has received its largest-ever settlement to deliver vital services such as health and education.

From £70 million to champion thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises to £49 million coming from the Levelling Up and Community Ownership funds, the opportunities for Northern Ireland are immense.

We are committed to levelling up Northern Ireland and today’s announcement reaffirms this, ensuring we tap into local talent and continue to deliver a stronger economy for all.

Targeted funding in Northern Ireland

On top of the record funding for the Northern Ireland Executive, Northern Ireland will benefit from the UK Government’s commitment to invest in people, jobs, communities and businesses. Targeted projects in Northern Ireland include:

  • Nearly £50 million to be invested in Northern Ireland to boost the post-pandemic recovery and enhance the Northern Irish economy. This includes:
    • £49 million from the Levelling Up Fund for 11 projects across Northern Ireland, including an Electric Vehicle charging network across the country, and the redevelopment of a derelict Ministry of Defence site in Derry/Londonderry into an urban community farm.
    • £300,000 from the Community Ownership Fund for the Glens Digital Hub in Cushendall to protect this valued community asset.
  • Providing £1 billion for farmers and land managers and £9.3 million to support fisheries.
  • The establishment of a new trade and investment hub in Belfast to grow trade for Northern Ireland.
  • Continuing the £400 million New Deal for Northern Ireland investing in infrastructure, boosting economic growth, increasing Northern Ireland’s competitiveness and supporting the operation of its businesses.

UK-wide support

As a result of our strong United Kingdom, Northern Ireland will benefit from:

  • A 50% cut in domestic Air Passenger Duty for flights between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and an additional £22.5 million of new funding in anticipation of the Union Connectivity Review recommendations where we will work with the devolved administrations on improving UK-wide connectivity..
  • An additional £70 million funding for the British Business Bank to build on its existing programmes in Northern Ireland which are already helping businesses to get the financing they need.
  • A new £1.4 billion new Global Britain Investment Fund which will support investment directly into Northern Ireland.
  • A record £20 billion by 2024-25 in Research and Development supporting innovation in Northern Ireland.
  • Confirmation that funding will at a minimum match the size of EU Funds in Northern Ireland, each year through the over £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will invest in skills, people, businesses, and communities, including through ‘Multiply’, a new adult numeracy programme which that will provide people across Northern Ireland with essential numeracy skills.
  • An increase to the National Minimum Wage of £9.50 an hour, with young people and apprentices also seeing increases.
  • Freezes to fuel duty for the twelfth consecutive year, and a freeze on alcohol duty and a freeze on Vehicle Excise Duty for heavy goods vehicles.

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