Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland executive focused on boosting economy, First Minister insists

By Staff Reporter

First Minister Arlene Foster has told business leaders that growing the economy remains the number one priority for the Executive.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Electric Ireland, Mrs Foster said: "During my time in office, I want to see a Northern Ireland where economic prosperity is achieved and shared right across the province and where we value people from every background and every walk of life and make them as proud of this country as we are.

"We have brought more jobs to Northern Ireland than at any time in our history and we have secured the power to set our own rate of corporation tax at 12.5% from April 2018.

"When others would have walked away from corporation tax because it was too big or too complex, we stayed the course because the prize is too great."

Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said it was reassuring to hear that the Executive remained focused on the economy.

"Along with the new Department of the Economy, which will bring skills and the economy closer together, a new programme for government and an action plan to boost exports, 2016 can provide the foundations required for businesses to grow," she added.

"Knowing the new lower corporation tax rate and date will help to attract new high-end foreign investment, and it is good news that the recent budget allocated to Invest NI includes resources for marketing this."

Belfast Telegraph