Belfast Telegraph

Doubling of export finance is 'positive'

By Margaret Canning

Firms in Northern Ireland should be able to take advantage of business-friendly measures in the Budget, it was claimed.

Ian Edwards, tax director at business advisers EY, said the doubling of the annual investment allowance for plant and machinery to £500,000 was welcome.

Dankse Bank chief economist Angela McGowan said a doubling of export finance to £3bn was positive – but the impact of a package tipped to help companies save up to £7bn on their energy bills by 2018-9 was less clear.

But Paul MacFlynn, an economist at think-thank NERI, said the Budget contained "no change of course for the economy now and signalled more of the same in the next parliament".

Jim Andrew of TaxAssist Accountants in Belfast said a cut of £2,000 to employer national insurance costs was "a strong incentive for creating new jobs".

Stephen Kelly of Manufacturing Northern Ireland said some elements were welcome, such as the capping of the carbon price support rate at £18 per ton of CO2 from 2016-17 for the rest of the decade.

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