28/02/2012

Ongoing Inaction On Aggregates Levy Disastrous For Construction Industry - SDLP

SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said that a seeming inertia in the European Commission with regard to the suspension of the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme in Northern Ireland is threatening the local construction industry.

Ms Ritchie said: "The suspension of the scheme was ordered by the European Commission on the grounds of the North being at an unfair advantage to Britain without recognising NI's unique position of being in close competitive proximity to the Republic.

"I have continued to raise this issue at all levels of regional, UK-wide and European government, including Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, representatives in Brussels and the then Economic Secretary to the British Treasury, Justine Greening, but while I am confident of support locally, I am appalled by how casually the EC are dragging their heels in addressing our concerns.

"If we go forward without this exemption being reinstated, it will not redress any supposed imbalance, but instead perpetuate an ongoing injustice to the construction industry in the North, which has to jostle for position with comparable industries in the Republic."

(CD/GK)

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