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Lowering corporation tax vital, says new CBI chief

By Heather McGarrigle

Securing lower corporation tax should be a top priority for Northern Ireland, the new chairman of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in the province said.

Ian Coulter also listed employment, capital expenditure and liquidity issues as issues to be addressed over the coming year.

Mr Coulter, managing partner at law firm Tughans, succeeded Terence Brannigan on January 1.

Mr Brannigan will now become the organisation's vice chairman.

Mr Coulter identified five areas in which he was keen to see progress in his first year in office: a lower rate of corporation tax; making the most of the Executive's planned capital expenditure plan; boosting employment opportunities ; addressing youth unemployment and tackling liquidity issues in the economy.

He said: "Achieving progress in these areas will have a significant impact on the economy and boost confidence within the business community. The CBI's role has never been more important as our economy's long term success will depend on the investment in, and growth, of our business sector. I look forward to working with the local CBI Northern Ireland team to deliver this."

CBI Northern Ireland director, Nigel Smyth, said: "I am delighted to welcome Ian as our new CBI Northern Ireland Chairman at this critical time.

"We believe his breadth of business experience across many sectors gives him the depth and perspective he needs to represent the interests of our members with the Executive and provide the necessary leadership."

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