Belfast Telegraph

Tax move 'could create 58,000 jobs'

An additional 58,000 jobs could be created by 2030 in Northern Ireland by lowering the rate of corporation tax, the Enterprise Minister has said.

Living standards and productivity would also increase and there is a consensus building that the Treasury should transfer the power to the Executive, Arlene Foster added.

The Treasury's consultation on the changes finishes on June 24 and Ms Foster said a group of her independent advisers had carried out research on the impact of a cut.

"Their report finds that without a radical change in approach, the NI economy will not experience meaningful convergence with the UK and will remain one of the poorest UK regions," she said.

"However, the results suggest a much more encouraging picture if Northern Ireland gained the power to lower its rate of corporation tax.

"This could see the creation of 58,000 additional jobs by 2030, with living standards and productivity also increased as a result of the measure."

North Down MP Lady Hermon has said she does not believe lowering corporation tax will necessarily bring more investment to Northern Ireland.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has said that devolving the power to lower corporation tax to the Assembly is not a done deal. He said Assembly members still need to see how much the move would be worth to the Northern Ireland economy and how it would affect the block grant.

The current corporation tax rate in the UK is 26%, compared to 12.5% in the Republic of Ireland.

Low rates of corporation tax are considered an important means of attracting overseas investment.

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