Belfast Telegraph

Delegates to maintain pressure on Westminster over corporation tax

By David Elliott

A delegation of Northern Ireland business leaders is heading to London today to meet the man leading the negotiations on devolved corporation tax.

Ian Coulter, chairman of CBI Northern Ireland, is leading the visit to meet Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, where they'll be giving him a taste of how the economy here is performing.

"CBI Northern Ireland feels it is important that businesses back up the work the Northern Ireland Executive carried out... and give Westminster government a real feel of the conditions we are experiencing here on the ground today," he said.

"Our delegation will confirm the groundswell of support in Northern Ireland for the devolution of corporation tax."

Last week a crunch meeting of the ministerial working group finalised its proposals on the issue of devolving corporation tax setting powers to Northern Ireland, but nevertheless, Mr Coulter said the CBI wants to keep the pressure on Westminster over the issue.

Corporation tax in Northern Ireland stands at 24% of profits but the CBI and many other business organisations want that lowered to 12.5%, the same level as the Republic of Ireland.

The ministerial working group's final proposals will be handed to Prime Minister David Cameron by the end of the month.