Belfast Telegraph

Stormont is pressing for decision on corporation tax: Foster

By Clare Weir

The Stormont Executive is to continue pushing Whitehall for a decision on Northern Ireland's rate of corporation tax, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said.

She was speaking about a meeting between Lord Heseltine and the Executive Sub-Committee on the Economy, which she chairs, during his research of the No Stone Unturned report, which she said he admitted was England-focused.

"The Northern Ireland Economic Strategy, which was launched in March, sets out what the Executive is doing to grow the local economy," said Mrs Foster (right).

"In line with the principles Lord Heseltine is championing, the Economic Strategy was developed by local politicians to develop those particular strengths and meet the particular needs of the local economy.

"Lord Heseltine has acknowledged that the focus and interest of his review was concentrated on England.

"But he has recognised that there is much to be learned from engaging with the devolved administrations, as many of the powers and policy issues he has considered have already been devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"Consistent with the Heseltine Review, one of the Northern Ireland Executive's key Programme for Government and Economic Strategy commitments is to secure the devolution of powers to vary the rate of corporation tax in Northern Ireland.

"The Executive believe that securing this additional policy lever has the potential to rebalance the Northern Ireland economy towards greater private sector and value added growth.

"We will press the Prime Minister to take an early decision on this issue."