Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland business leaders 'fully behind' Stormont political talks agreement

By Margaret Canning

Business lobby group the CBI has said it is "fully behind" political parties in their efforts to reach agreement through the present talks.

CBI Northern Ireland chairman Colin Walsh told business leaders that resolution of the political deadlock would help provide effective government, as well as unlocking the devolution of corporation tax powers.

Mr Walsh told the CBI Christmas reception that the business community in Northern Ireland had long been focused on securing the devolution of corporation tax.

Last week the Chancellor said he recognised the strength of the argument but said parties had first to resolve had to work towards a successful conclusion of the talks.

Mr Walsh said: "While the announcement by the Government last week was a massive positive step in that it recognised the uniqueness of our case, there undoubtedly remains a way to go - something that we will hopefully see a positive resolution to over the coming 48 hours.

"There is now a really big onus on all our political parties to come to an accommodation on the various issues which they have been facing." Critical decisions were needed on matters such as the draft budget and welfare reform, as well as legacy issues.

Belfast Telegraph