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Corporation tax delay 'will make mockery of backers'

By John Mulgrew

Failing to meet the deadline for cutting corporation tax will make a "mockery of those who were recruited to support the move", including Liam Neeson, it has been claimed.

According to Belfast-based wealth management company Johnston Campbell Ltd, Northern Ireland's business community has also been let down by political parties' inability to work together.

There was anger among local companies after this newspaper revealed that the April 2018 deadline for the devolution of corporation tax may, according to the Department of Finance, slip back to a later date.

The campaign to attract increased foreign investment through a lower rate of the tax drafted in Liam Neeson.

In promotional material, Mr Neeson said: "The commitment of the Northern Ireland Executive to reduce the rate of corporation tax to 12.5% from April 2018 really is a potential game-changer for our economy."

Kerry McCaughan, wealth management director with Johnston Campbell Ltd, said any delay would be humiliating.

"It seems that the UK Government is using the lower rate of corporation tax carrot to try to persuade Stormont to get its act together," she added.

"The potential for the deadline to slip makes a mockery of the support of those drafted in to promote the 12.5% rate of corporation tax.

"The inability of the local parties to work together is once again letting down both the business community and Northern Ireland as a whole.

"This corporation tax cut is vitally needed at a time when it could save businesses that are struggling in the current climate. It (could) encourage more entrepreneurs to make the leap into business."

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