Thursday 27 April 2017

NI to miss tax cut as parties squabble

Hollywood actor Liam Neeson had supported a bid to cut corporation tax in the North. Photo: Getty Images
Hollywood actor Liam Neeson had supported a bid to cut corporation tax in the North. Photo: Getty Images

John Mulgrew

FAILING to meet the deadline for cutting corporation tax in the North will make a "mockery of those who were recruited to support the move", including Hollywood star Liam Neeson, it has been claimed.

According to Belfast-based wealth-management company Johnston Campbell Ltd, the North's business community has also been let down by political parties' inability to work together. There was anger among companies after the 'Belfast Telegraph' revealed that the April 2018 deadline for the devolution of corporation tax has slipped back to a later date.

The campaign to cut the tax to boost foreign investment had drafted in Mr Neeson.

In promotional material, Mr Neeson said: "The commitment of the Northern Ireland Executive to reduce the rate of corporation tax to 12.5pc from April 2018 really is a potential game-changer for our economy."

Kerry McCaughan, wealth management director with Johnston Campbell, said any delay would be humiliating.

"It seems that the UK Government is using the lower rate of corporation tax carrot to try to persuade Stormont to get its act together," she added.

"The potential for the deadline to slip makes a mockery of the support of those drafted in to promote the 12.5pc rate of corporation tax. The inability of the local parties to work together is once again letting down both the business community and Northern Ireland as a whole.

"This corporation tax cut is vitally needed at a time when it could save businesses that are struggling in the current climate. It (could) encourage more entrepreneurs to make the leap into business."

Irish Independent

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