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NI given power to set tax rates

Irish business groups have welcomed a plan from UK Chancellor George Osborne (inset) to let Northern Ireland set its own corporation tax rate before the UK General Election next year, if it shows it can manage the financial implications.

The move, predicated on whether Northern Ireland shows it can manage the financial implications, and whether agreement can be reached on contentious all-party talks, would mean the North could drop its rate to at least as low as the Republic's 12.5pc rate.

Chambers Ireland boss Ian Talbot was postive about the move.

"There's are opportunities for our workforce, the opportunity for our skills and talents in the Republic to migrate over the border for jobs and experience, and to help build new operations and expertise," he said.