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The DUP’s Treasury spokesman Sammy Wilson has welcomed the 2021 budget but urged the Chancellor to get tough with online giants and reform our tax policies.

Commenting Mr Wilson said,

"We commend the Government for protecting 250,000 jobs in Northern Ireland through the Job Retention Scheme and supporting our self-employed where there was almost 210,000 claims for the Self Employed Income Support grant. These two schemes safeguarded thousands of jobs and once again point to the benefit of Northern Ireland being part of the fifth largest economy in the world.

I also welcome the short-term extension of the 5% VAT rate and our rural constituencies who depend on their vehicles for work and transporting of goods will welcome the freeze in fuel duty. These are both matters we have campaigned for.

This is a good budget for individuals, good budget for the Union and a good budget for recovery but I do have concern for our companies. If we are going to be the Singapore of Europe, then we need to have attractive corporate taxation policies. The rise in Corporation Tax is a step in the wrong direction and sends out the wrong signals. There will also be a stealth increase in income tax, resulting in a 25% increase in the amount taken in tax over the next five years.

I am also concerned about the continuation and increase in Air Passenger Duty. The aviation sector is in need of a UK wide rescue package rather than further taxation. We have long campaigned against this tax and still believe the Chancellor is taking the wrong approach. This budget will lead to the take from APD rising by 50% next year and over the budget period by 300%.

Whilst the Chancellor has indicated in this budget his commitment to increasing tax inspections to tackle fraud, it is not more tax inspectors that we need it is a fundamental change in tax policy.

Free from the European Union, the United Kingdom should get tough with the online giants who plunder the United Kingdom for sales but tuck their profits away in the Irish Republic. It is ridiculous that one UK high street store can have a larger rates bill than Amazon’s entire UK tax bill. This must end. They have been hiding from their taxes for too long.”