Brett – “long-term strategic investment decisions needed”

DUP North Belfast MLA Phillip Brett addressed those gathered in Stormont for the publication of the NI Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey.

By Phillip Brett MLA

Belfast North

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Mr Brett ,who chairs the Assembly’s Economy Committee said,

“Today’s Quarterly Economic Survey report stands as a stark example of the work that is required, but I am confident that the collective will of business and Government, working together will overcome those challenges, and that partnership will take full advantage of the new and improved arrangements that have been secured.

There is no doubting the need for strategic decision making by the Assembly and the Executive.

We must maximise the impact of our squeezed public finances to ensure capital investment in infrastructure right across Northern Ireland is used to unlock exciting economic prospects.

The forthcoming Programme for Government and Investment Strategy that are now at an advanced stage will rightly focus on these issues, underscoring our shared commitment and desire, to achieve that collective aim.

This will build on the work already undertaken by the Assembly and the Executive.

The continuation of Industrial Derating and the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme was a top priority for us.

Industrial Derating supports around 4,400 industrial properties across Northern Ireland and this assistance is currently worth over £71million. The Small Business Rate Relief Scheme also provides in the region of £20 million of assistance to 29,000 small businesses.

The early focus by the Executive on Childcare shows the clear commitment to removing barriers to employment and to increasing economic opportunities.

A newly focused and reorganised Invest NI now has the ability not only to continue to ensure Northern Ireland is a leader across the United Kingdom in attracting FDI, but also rightly supports our home grown manufacturing and SME sector, who are the backbone of our local economy.

The clear message sent from the Assembly, that our Planning system is not fit for purpose has not been lost on anyone. The continued failure by a system that has been underperforming and is costing Northern Ireland PLC much needed investment and job creation, will no longer be tolerated and we look forward to implementing much needed reform.

The hugely successful visit by the FM and DFM to the United States, really did put Northern Ireland on the map once again and showed the power of when we work together, Northern Ireland can and will, well and truly punch above its weight.

With over 100 representatives from US Businesses and Government in Belfast today for the UK/US Small business summit, I was delighted to welcome the US Special Envoy Joe Kennedy to this Building, and I look forward to hearing of positive investment news for our local economy.

The return of stable devolution affords us all the opportunity to take Northern Ireland’s economy to the next level, to work together to overcome the barriers to economic growth and make long-term strategic investment decisions, aimed at maximising return and opportunity.

We all have a role to play, and I give my clear and unwavering commitment to be a champion for your needs and concerns.

I am determined to continue to build an innovative, inclusive, and healthy economy, which delivers opportunity for everyone in every community across Northern Ireland.

And I look forward to achieving that goal together.

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