Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: Grow NI want Executive meeting over corporation tax

By Lisa Smyth

A group representing Northern Ireland businesses has requested a meeting with the Executive to discuss the impact of Brexit.

Grow NI has written to First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness asking for the meeting, during which they plan to press the case for the implementation of 12.5% corporation tax from April 2018.They are also calling for continued investment in universities and further education colleges, as well as the road and rail network.

Earlier this week, Chancellor George Osborne announced that he wants to reduce the level of corporation tax across the UK following the EU referendum.

Mervyn McCall, spokesman for the organisation which has lobbied for the tax cut, said this demonstrated it was correct to view reduced tax as an incentive to attracting investment and supporting economic regeneration.

"Of course we acknowledge the current uncertainty created by the referendum result and the sooner we get a clearer picture of the political outworking of the vote the better for the economy," he said. "In the meantime though our focus remains very clear - implementation of a 12.5% rate of corporation tax in NI from April 1, 2018."

However, Mr McCall also stressed that inward investment is also required to ensure a strong economic future.

"We are equally clear that a reduced corporation tax rate on its own will not be enough to ensure that we maximise our potential," he said.

"In a post-Brexit environment we in Northern Ireland need to carve out our own future and make long term investment plans which will help us realise our economic potential and create a significant number of long term, high value added, well paid jobs," he added.

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