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It's time Executive woke up to needs of business

Simon Hamilton (Write Back, April 10) accuses me of "talking down the Northern Ireland economy", but I can assure him that I'm doing no such thing.

Like many businessmen, I am angry the Executive is not doing all it can to create jobs, or help our economy reach its potential.

For that reason, it's not in the least surprising that Simon Hamilton's statement bears no serious scrutiny and that his economics - just like those of his boss, Sammy Wilson - are all over the place.

Northern Ireland Conservatives support measures designed to ease the pressure on business, including rates relief, but this certainly shouldn't be tied to growth-retarding taxes on larger firms.

The retail levy isn't based on profitability, and companies like Ikea, Tesco and B-amp;Q have already indicated that it could cost jobs and inhibit investment.

Simon Hamilton and his boss must embrace policies which create growth, rather than prevent it. They must wake up to the needs of businesses. They seem obsessed with protecting every penny spent on the civil service

Irwin armstrong Northern Ireland Conservatives

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