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Hermon's economic illiteracy spells trouble

North Down MP Sylvia Hermon is badly out of step with the people who know business and job creation best when she suggests that a cut in corporation tax will not bring new investment to Northern Ireland.

All the leading voices in business and finance back a cut, including the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, the CBI, the Institute of Directors, Enterprise Northern Ireland, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Ulster Society of Chartered Accountants, Queen's University, the University of Ulster and a myriad of other bodies.

Add to this the weight of political opinion, with all the main parties agreed that devolving corporation tax can help grow our economy and reports from the Northern Ireland affairs committee at Westminster and the Economic Advisory Group backing up their case.

Does Lady Hermon honestly believe that her anti-private sector prejudices trump all this real-life expertise? She claims that low business taxes could not prevent the Republic from sliding into recession, but ignores the fact that the manufacturing and high-tech sectors are now the healthiest parts of the Irish economy. By trotting out her economically illiterate arguments, Sylvia Hermon is attacking the prospects of employment and prosperity for thousands here.

We simply mustn't allow outdated thinking of this type to hold Northern Ireland back.

PAUL LEEMAN

Chairman, North Down Conservatives

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