Page last updated at 22:36 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

86m pre-Budget boost for economy

Nigel Dodds
Mr Dodds said small businesses would benefit

Northern Ireland firms could benefit by up to 86.5m under measures announced by Chancellor Alastair Darling.

Stormont Finance Minister Nigel Dodds welcomed the Chancellor's plans to stimulate economic growth.

"In terms of capital expenditure we have the opportunity to accelerate up to 86.5m in the local economy over the next two years," he said.

"This measure provides the flexibility we need to respond to the needs of local firms experiencing difficulties."

Mr Dodds said the reduction in VAT was particularly welcome.

"In addition, the package of measures targeted at supporting small business will be of benefit to 132,000 firms in Northern Ireland," he said.

"The Chancellor faced a difficult task in balancing the need to kick start the economy against the recognition that the additional borrowing will need to be paid back in the future."

He said he also welcomed Mr Darling's decision to bring forward to January the increases in child benefit and the basic state pension.

"This will benefit over 300,000 young families in Northern Ireland and offer additional help to older people just when they need it most."

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