Ulster Unionist Economy Spokesperson, Sandra Overend, has expressed her disappointment that there has been no agreement on the devolution of Corporation Tax following the latest meeting of the Joint Ministerial Working Group on rebalancing the economy.
The Mid-Ulster MLA said,
‘Following the last meeting of the Joint Ministerial Working Group yesterday which contains representatives from the DUP and Sinn Fein, plus the Northern Ireland Office and the Treasury, it has emerged that they are no closer to reaching agreement on the important issue of devolving Corporation Tax powers to Northern Ireland from Westminster. I am extremely disappointed by this news, given that this will be the last meeting before summer recess, with the next not scheduled until September.’
‘Following the previous meeting in March, Peter Robinson announced that we were still on course for a decision to be made by the summer, with Martin McGuiness commenting that a lot of progress had been made. I am keen to know what has changed in a relatively short space of time to leave us in a position of uncertainty over the summer period.’
‘The potential benefits of the devolution and subsequent reduction of Corporation Tax are significant, with increased inward investment and the growth of the private sector being the key aims. It will be highly frustrating for businesses throughout Northern Ireland who are struggling at the current time that a resolution does not appear to be forthcoming.’
‘We need political leadership as we work to rebuild and rebalance our economy and I would urge the First and deputy First Minister as well as the DUP’s Finance and Economy Ministers to address this apparent failing and deliver in the crucial area of Corporation Tax.”