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East Antrim MP and DUP Treasury Spokesperson Sammy Wilson said,

“I welcome the Chancellor’s announcements today; they will help to undo some of the economic damage caused by the actions taken to deal with the health crisis.

It is an example of how Northern Ireland benefits from being in the Union. We are part of the fifth biggest economy in the world, and we have got the umbrella of the United Kingdom to protect us against this kind of economic crisis. Already, hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland have benefitted from the £1.8 billion package of measures, which the Government has announced. Both unionists and nationalists have experienced the advantages of being part of the UK.

The hospitality sector has been hit particularly hard, so I am pleased that the Chancellor has recognised this, however, I would like to see the package including the reduction in VAT and the Eat Out to Help discount, made available for an extended period to allow businesses and their customers to take full advantage of them.

The aviation and aerospace industries were not mentioned in today’s statement, which is a concern; 30,000 jobs rely on them, a third of these jobs could disappear, which is important for exports, tourism, and connectivity, both in GB and across the world. The industries are a source of highly skilled and highly paid jobs, and both are unlikely to experience a quick recovery, and will therefore require sustained support, in terms of some employment protection, investment, incentives, loan packages, and a new strategic recovery plan. The Chancellor has said he will be announcing further actions in the future and I along with my colleagues Gavin Robinson and Paul Girvan, will be encouraging him to listen to the airport operators and those involved in the manufacture of aircraft parts, to launch necessary support initiatives.

I had the opportunity to raise this issue with the Chancellor today and look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure this vital sector gets the support it needs.”