Finance Minister Arlene Foster and Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell today welcomed the agreement to set Northern Ireland’s corporation tax rate at 12.5% from April 2018.
The rate and date of corporation tax formed part of the Stormont Agreement announced today.
Finance Minister Arlene Foster said: “Assuming responsibility for these powers will provide the Executive with the ability to take radical steps to transform the performance of the local economy and enhance the lives of all our people.
“A lower corporation tax environment, supported by other key drivers of our Economic Strategy, holds the potential to propel Northern Ireland forward by encouraging local firms to grow, enhancing levels of Foreign Direct Investment and delivering more jobs at all levels.”
The latest estimates from the Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre project that, by around 2033, employment in Northern Ireland would be over 30,000 higher, and output around 9% greater if a 12.5% corporation tax rate was applied, compared to a business as usual pathway.
Arlene Foster added: “Investment decisions made now often take two to three years to be realised on the ground. We need to make investors, here and abroad, aware of our intentions now so they can factor this positiveannouncement into their investment planning. This pre-announcement of the April 2018 commencement date will give investors time to respond and ramp up investment.”
Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said: “I have consistently said that a reduced rate of corporation tax would be a game changer for the Northern Ireland economy.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to secure a new economic era for Northern Ireland, which we will now grab with both hands. As well as tens of thousands of additional jobs, local economic output and productivity could be boosted over the medium to long term.
"Now that we have a date and rate, my Department and Invest NI can begin to work towards securing the economic benefits and investment for Northern Ireland that a reduced rate of corporation tax will bring.
“Belfast is already recognised as the number one destination globally for financial technology investments, and Northern Ireland is the most successful region in the UK for Inward Investment. We have a skilled workforce, stronguniversities and research centres, high-tech infrastructure and competitive cost structure.
“We have already established an excellent reputation on the international stage and that reputation, now coupled with an attractive corporation tax rate, means we have even more to offer."
Arlene Foster concluded: “Much hard work has been required to secure these powers. That effort must continue and be intensified as we seek to secure the maximum benefit for Northern Ireland that will flow from this momentous decision."