Belfast Telegraph

George was right on the money

What a day. George Osborne certainly pressed some of the right buttons with his Budget and even managed to keep a surprise up his sleeve.

The extra 1% cut in UK-wide corporation tax from April brings the rate back to 26% for the remainder of this year and begins the process of narrowing the tax gap between Northern Ireland businesses and those in the Republic.

The Chancellor doffed his cap to the disadvantageous situation our economy finds itself in when in such close proximity to a low tax neighbour and has set in motion the growing suspicion that the Treasury is about to devolve corporation tax-setting powers.

Many commentators reckon today's release of the Treasury paper on corporation tax reform in Northern Ireland will be the first step to such a move, but people who've seen the document say its lukewarm to the idea at best.

All will be revealed today, but no matter what happens, you can't say we're not punching above our weight as it is.

This column has spent the last couple of weeks reflecting a raft of new job announcements and is very pleased to be able to break out the bubbly again.

Deloitte's renewed commitment to Northern Ireland through the creation of 125 new positions should be whole heartedly welcomed.

High-productivity jobs are just what the doctor ordered and are the latest in a whole host of jobs from both indigenous and overseas companies.

If we can make such headlines in the current environment and with the current tax structure, what will we do when our businesses are paying less tax and the economy picks up?


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