Belfast Telegraph

Minister hopeful on corporate tax cut

By Jim Dee

The Deputy First Minister has expressed his hope that Northern Ireland’s 28% corporation tax rate could soon be in line with the Republic’s investment-luring 12.5% rate.

Martin McGuinness was speaking after the Northern Ireland Secretary announced a consultation process that could trigger a shift in corporate taxing powers from London to Belfast.

During remarks to American investors at the British Embassy in Washington yesterday, Owen Paterson said that the Treasury and the Stormont Executive are “looking at some really radical measures to help make the private sector flourish and attract new investment”.

Speaking during a break from meetings on Capitol Hill yesterday, Mr McGuinness said: “It’s an economic disadvantage for us in the North that we have a situation where south of the border corporation tax is 12.5%.

“What’s quite clear from the (Washington) economic investment conference we were involved in October last year, is that there are a number of multinational companies who would be very keen to invest in the North if corporation tax were lowered.”

McGuinness said that seeking fresh US investment in Northern Ireland is a main focus of his and Peter Robinson’s four-day visit to Washington. Dismissing any suggestion that such trips are expensive junkets, he insisted they produce value for money.

“Peter Robinson and myself have attracted hundreds of new jobs to the North from USA companies over the last number of years, at a time when people told us we had no chance of doing so.”

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