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Northern Ireland corporation tax decision ‘in the hands of the people’


Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson

The decision to change Northern Ireland’s corporation tax rate is now in the hands of the people, Secretary of State Owen Paterson has said.

Mr Paterson was visiting the printing presses at Belfast Telegraph parent company Independent News & Media in Newry as he rounded off a hectic week of campaigning in favour of dropping the rate to match that of the Republic of Ireland at 12.5%.

Yesterday the Secretary of State met with business people in Portadown and Newry to discuss the move.

It has been a momentous week for the campaign, with the Northern Ireland Affairs committee at Westminster, the Economic Advisory Group and business coalition ‘Grow NI’ all coming out in favour of lowering the rate from 28%.

A consultation process on whether the Stormont Executive should be given the devolved power to set its own tax rates closes on June 24.

Mr Paterson said yesterday: “I am urging everyone, business people, community members, your friends, relatives, neighbours, to take part in the consultation process — it’s in your hands now.”

Vincent Crowley, group chief operating officer of Independent News & Media, added: “We were delighted that the Secretary of State showed such interest in our activities in Northern Ireland. We fully support the campaign to lower the corporation tax rate.”