Gross Domestic Product: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at on 24 April 2024.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The UK Government are committed to the long-term economic growth of Northern Ireland, and are working closely with the Executive and business to demonstrate what a fantastic place it is to live, work and invest in. For instance, we have delivered the Northern Ireland investment summit; we are committed to levelling up Northern Ireland’s economy, with £617 million being spent on four city and growth deals; we are implementing key deliverables in the “Safeguarding the Union” Command Paper; and we continue to promote Northern Ireland’s unique institutional arrangements.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

With the Executive restored and enjoying a financial package of more than £3 billion, does the Minister agree that Northern Ireland businesses are now in position for an era of transformational success?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Absolutely, and I am grateful to my hon. Friend for highlighting that, but funding is, of course, only one part of the solution. The transformation of public services is vital, but achieving that will require innovative strategic thinking as well as some revenue raising, and the Government stand ready to assist the Northern Ireland Executive with formal structures to help them achieve those ends.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

I thank the Minister for his answer. We have a massively skilled workforce in Northern Ireland, as everyone here knows, including the Minister. However, in order to increase investment, we must create more skilled jobs and employ more people in the aerospace sector. What discussions has the Minister had with Cabinet colleagues about securing more jobs in our aerospace community in Northern Ireland? We can do more; we just need a bit more help.

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question. I have visited Spirit AeroSystems, as well as other related companies, and there is a terrific pool of talent and skill in Northern Ireland. We work with the Department for Business and Trade to ensure that the same advantages are available to people and businesses in Northern Ireland as across the rest of the UK. I sense that brevity requires that I do not elaborate on DBT’s full offer, but it is certainly there. I will write to him to set out the detail.