Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's economy 'needs a kick-start'

By Adrian Rutherford

Living standards in Northern Ireland are 20% below the UK average, senior business leaders will be told today.

In a speech to over 160 delegates at the CBI Northern Ireland annual economic briefing in Belfast, the organisation’s chairman, Ian Coulter, will also make clear that the battle for securing a lower corporation tax here is reaching a critical point.

Mr Coulter is expected to paint a stark picture of the Northern Ireland economy since 1998, highlighting the disparity in living standards with the rest of the UK

Mr Coulter is due to tell delegates that there has been little economic dividend despite the recent political progress.

“Despite over 14 years of political stability, and with the best efforts from both politicians and the business community, the economy in Northern Ireland has not been rebalanced,” he will say.

He will add: “Without a significant new lever our economy will not be able to turn around in the timeframe it needs to.

“As a result (we) need ... a lower corporation tax to kick-start and transform our economy.”

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