Belfast Telegraph

Tory win is good news for all of us

By Mark Brotherston

The Conservative Party's general election victory is great news for the UK as a whole - and it's particularly good news for Northern Ireland. This part of the country needs drastically to rebalance and modernise the economy, so that we can attract investment and create jobs.

In David Cameron and the Conservatives we have a majority Government at Westminster committed to that process, which will help in every way it can.

As part of the coalition Conservatives have already demonstrated determination to deliver for Northern Ireland. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers worked hard to broker the Stormont House Agreement, which sets out a blueprint for putting the local finances in order and growing the private sector.

After a long campaign, spearheaded to a large degree by local Conservative members, the Government also devolved powers to cut corporation tax, which can bring tens of thousands of new jobs to Northern Ireland, if the Executive gets on with setting a date and a lower rate for the tax.

The new Conservative Government will ensure people here get to keep more of their hard-earned money. By 2017, 103,000 people will have been lifted out of tax altogether, while 698,000 are already paying less income tax.

Motorists will save £510 per year, because the Conservatives have cancelled successive fuel duty rises planned by Labour. Just yesterday David Cameron announced a major investment in the NHS, which will mean £160m more per year for healthcare in Northern Ireland, by 2020, so long as the Executive doesn't squander the money on something else.

Five more years of Conservative Government means that Theresa Villiers and David Cameron can continue the good work that they started. Northern Ireland's future is dependent upon having a competitive economy and a buoyant private sector, creating good-quality, sustainable jobs and generating prosperity for everyone here.

To make that possible, Stormont will have to get its house in order, but it will get the best chance to achieve that goal under a Conservative Government, with a Prime Minister committed to Northern Ireland.

Mark Brotherston is NI Conservatives' representative in North Down

Belfast Telegraph


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