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Politicians give a warm welcome to 'timely' report findings

Politicians who gave evidence to hearings on corporation tax have welcomed a Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report which says the province's rate should be dropped to match that of the Republic.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said report was "timely" as the consultation process on the Treasury's 'rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy' report closes next month.

He said: "There is a lot at stake here. The economy is the Executive's top priority and we will want to use all possible policy levers available to us to help bring about the higher growth and employment levels that we so badly need."

His DUP party colleague, Upper Bann MP David Simpson, said the report was "useful" and that lowering the rate would assist the move out of recession.

SDLP MP Alasdair McDonnell, his party's economy spokesman and a member of the committee, said: "This reduction is not the whole solution but it is a necessary stimulus for resuscitating the private sector."