Paul Johnson, Chair of the independent Fiscal Commission, addressed the 2021 British-Irish Association conference, held on 3rd-5th September at Pembroke College, Oxford.
Established in 1972, the British-Irish Association seeks to promote good relations between the governments and peoples of the UK and Ireland. Attendees at this year’s event included: Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for Cabinet Office; Lord Frost of Allenton, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office; Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Micheál Martin, Irish Taoiseach; Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs; and Paschal Donohoe, Irish Finance Minister.
Mr Johnson delivered his presentation to a full house of c.150 attendees, setting out key details on the economic context of Northern Ireland and describing the current situation with regard to the NI Assembly’s powers over revenue raising and expenditure.
Mr Johnson’s address also focussed on the some of the opportunities potentially available for Northern Ireland in terms of fiscal devolution, which have been identified by the Commission, and described the different models which could be adopted as well as some of the potential “risks and rewards” which may result.
Conference attendees were encouraged to submit views and evidence to inform and help shape the Fiscal Commission’s considerations and, ultimately, their recommendations as part of the Commission’s final report.
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