Fiscal Floor

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons am ar 22 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance, North Down

What assessment the Government have made of the potential merits of introducing a fiscal floor for Northern Ireland.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

I thank the hon. Member for the proposals that he and his party have shared with me regarding these matters, as well as those of Gavin Robinson. I read his article in The Irish Times earlier this morning with great interest, but he will know that such change is not exactly the silver bullet and will need some negotiation.

Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance, North Down

I appreciate that there is a need for a negotiation. A fiscal floor is vital to Northern Ireland. Can the Secretary of State ensure that any fiscal floor is driven by evidence, based on the work of the Northern Ireland Fiscal Council, draws on the work of Professor Holtham in Wales, and properly reflects the devolution of policing and justice, as happened in 2010 around need?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

There is always some debate on the basis of need, and the Fiscal Council outlined what it should be in its eyes. In general principles, the answer is yes. A lot of conversations are to be had, and the Fiscal Council helpfully published a report earlier this year, but I remind the hon. Gentleman that the proposal for Wales took over seven years to negotiate.