Ulster Unionist Party economy spokesperson Danny Kinahan MLA has urged the Northern Ireland Executive to make an early decision to implement a significant cut to Corporation tax.
Mr Kinahan said:
“Her Majesty’s Government has agreed to devolve the power to vary Corporation tax to Stormont, and is piloting the necessary enabling legislation through Westminster. There is no reason for Stormont to wait for that legislative process to be completed.
“Businesses plan their investments 2 or 3 years in advance, therefore it is incumbent on the Executive to make public its intentions regarding the rate and date. The Ulster Unionist Party believes it should be brought in as early as possible, which would be 1 April 2017. We have been persuaded by business that matching the Republic of Ireland rate of 12.5% is something to aim for. The proviso is that we need assurance that the public finances are on an even enough keel to absorb the short term loss of tax revenue.
“Invest NI need to be given the time and the certainty to get out and attract the foreign direct investment we will need to compensate for the reduction in the block grant. The longer we wait for a decision, the more delay there will be in attracting the FDI, creating the private sector jobs and generating real and widespread wealth in the local economy.
“The Ulster Unionist Party led the call for the devolution and reduction of Corporation Tax. Unusually, there seems to be a consensus across all the Executive parties that we should reduce Corporation Tax to stimulate the Northern Ireland economy. We have had years of reports and debates, followed by delay and indecision. That is in the past. It is time to be bold and to seize the day.”