Northern Ireland Office: Social Mobility:Written question - 120460

Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 19 December 2017
Northern Ireland Office
Northern Ireland Office: Social Mobility
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department has taken to improve social mobility in each of the last seven years.
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 09 January 2018

Many of the policy areas linked to social mobility in Northern Ireland are devolved matters. But tackling social mobility is one of the UK Government’s key priorities. We want all young people, regardless of their background or where they grow up, to get the best start in life and have every chance to go as far as their talents and ambition will take them.

The UK Government is helping the people of Northern Ireland by keeping taxes low, freezing fuel duty for the eight successive year and increasing the National Living Wage again from April 2018, delivering a £600 annual pay-rise to full-time workers in Northern Ireland. Moreover, we have increased again the personal allowance for income tax and higher rate threshold which will benefit over 745,000 people in Northern Ireland who will have gained by an average of £182, compared to 2015-16. Furthermore, there are 41,000 more people in work in Northern Ireland than in 2010 and unemployment is at 3.9%, down from 7.1% in 2010. And this Government will continue to deliver on its commitments to continue to support economic growth in Northern Ireland, including starting negotiations for a Belfast City Deal.

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