HL Deb 18 November 1970 vol 312 cc1236-8WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the total cost to the United Kingdom Treasury of Northern Ireland, stating separately the amounts under each heading in the Vote.


The Northern Ireland Government has it own Exchequer and Budget, financed both by transferred taxes controlled and collected locally, and by payments from the United Kingdom Consolidated Fund. These payments are designed to return to the Northern Ireland Government its appropriate share of the reserved taxes (those such as income tax and customs and excise which are controlled and collected by the United Kingdom Government), and to enable Northern Ireland to maintain parity of services with Great Britain; the tax revenue alone would not suffice for this.

The estimates of payments for 1970–71 are as follows:—

£ million
Residuary share of reserved taxation (that is, after deduction of certain expenses met by the U.K. Government and of the Imperial contribution) 247
Payments under Social Services Agreement 23
Payments under Finance Act 1967 (towards Regional Employment Premium) 8
Agricultural Remoteness Grant (paid from M.A.F.F. Votes) 1.7
£18 million is also expected to be paid from the Great Britain National Insurance Fund to that of Northern Ireland under arrangements designed to equilibrate reserves per contributor.

In addition, Northern Ireland farmers receive certain grant and subsidy payments (estimated at about £36½ million in 1970–71) direct from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the shipbuilding and aircraft industries in Northern Ireland have benefited from time to time under schemes operated by U.K. departments. The extra cost to the Defence Departments of its emergency operations in Northern Ireland was about £1½ million in 1969–70 and may be similar in 1970–71.

The Northern Ireland Government also borrows some of its capital requirements from the National Loans Fund; the estimate for 1970–71 is £39 million.

House adjourned at two minutes past nine o'clock.