Belfast Telegraph

Business chiefs keep up pressure on Wilson over corporation tax cut

By Clare Weir

Cutting corporation tax in Northern Ireland must remain a priority issue for the Assembly, according to an influential business organisation.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) spoke out after Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said that the devolution of fiscal powers to the region would "not be beneficial".

Wilfred Mitchell, FSB policy chair, said that lowering the tax rate will be a key ingredient in helping to encourage much-needed job creation into Northern Ireland and would boost consumer and business confidence here.

"Cutting corporation tax in Northern Ireland is an essential element in getting our economy back on track," he said.

"The FSB is adamant that this tax change will be a key ingredient in helping to encourage much- needed new job creation.

"This, in turn, will benefit the economy as a whole, helping it to recover from one of the longest and deepest periods of recession ever experienced."

He added that support for the cutting of corporation tax had come from all sectors of business and politics in Northern Ireland and the benefits of it should not be dismissed as "economically dangerous".

"The drive to cut corporation tax in Northern Ireland is exceptional, having gained cross-party political support and encouragement from all sectors of the business community," he said.

The FSB said the move would create "a level playing field" with the Republic and help make the region more attractive for foreign direct investment.