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Tax cut is set to revolutionise our economy

Your editorial (Comment, April 14) on the local economy indicated that promises of cuts in corporation tax continue to be made, but not delivered.

It is important your readers should be aware that huge strides have been made towards the devolution to Northern Ireland of the power to vary corporation tax.

Three weeks ago, the Government delivered fully on its promise to publish a consultation document on rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy, the bulk of which is devoted to examining mechanisms for changing the corporation tax rate.

The document is wholly different in tone and content from much of the material which was issued by the Treasury over the years. It unequivocally recognises Northern Ireland's vulnerable economic position and the role which a radical reduction in corporation tax can play in generating the growth which our economy so desperately needs.

Having been closely involved with the campaign for reduced corporation tax since the beginning, I am in no doubt that this great prize is now within Northern Ireland's grasp.

For Northern Ireland, against all the odds, to gain the ability to deploy this powerful economic weapon would be a truly revolutionary development.

The Executive bears a huge responsibility for our future.

It can succeed only if it has the tools to do the job. It deserves to be given them.

In an era of cut-throat competition for global investment, a competitive rate of corporation tax is an indispensable part of the policy package to stimulate investment.

I am convinced that the only thing which can now prevent us achieving these crucial devolved powers is to fail to send to the Treasury, in response to the consultative document, a clear message that we want them.

We now have a real chance to start building sound economic foundations for the future and to get on to the new economic trajectory which can hugely extend opportunity in Northern Ireland.

I would therefore urge all who are determined that this will not prove to be a lost opportunity to respond before the due date (June 24) to the invitation for comment in the Treasury document at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk.

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