I welcome this statement and the news that despite the best and concerted efforts of those who think that by talking the UK economy down they can somehow stop us leaving the EU, it is pleasing that employment is up, job creation is up, and the Government finances are in a better shape. That shows that we do not need the EU as some kind of economic crutch in order to enable us to stand on our own two feet. I also welcome the Barnett consequentials for Northern Ireland.
For the future, what progress has been made on the review of air passenger duty and VAT on the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland? If the Chancellor is going to help subcontractors deal with late payments, will he consider the use of project bank accounts, which have been very successful in Northern Ireland in ensuring that public sector spend on infrastructure projects actually reaches the companies that spend the money?