Belfast Telegraph

Wilson praise for meeting on economy

Leaders of business groups have praised finance minister Sammy Wilson for meeting with them to discuss the state of the local economy and the impact of the global crisis on Northern Ireland.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association ( NIIRTA), said: “This was a useful meeting at which a variety of ideas were put forward to stimulate growth and get our economy back on track.”

Carolyn Brown, policy manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), added: “The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for us to explain to the minister just how important small businesses are to the local economy and the central role they will play in helping to revive it.

“But, we added, for that to happen, firms must be given the right conditions by government to flourish and grow.”

Both the FSB and NIIRTA urged the minister to move ahead with proposals to extend the Small Business Rates Relief scheme to cover more businesses, to reduce and cut business tax rates. The two organisations support calls for a cut in the corporation tax rate.

The FSB is also asking for a cut in the VAT rate for the construction and tourism sectors.

NIIRTA called for the early publication of a pro-business Programme for Government.

Belfast Telegraph