Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA and Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster MLA today welcomed the introduction of legislation as a step closer in devolving corporation tax.
As part of the Stormont House Agreement, the UK Government undertook to introduce legislation to Parliament in order to transfer corporation tax rate setting powers to Northern Ireland. The UK Government published the Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill today. Corporation tax is currently set at the rate of 21% across the UK compared to 12.5% in the Republic of Ireland.
Minister Hamilton said: “I welcome the introduction of this Bill to Parliament. It will provide the vehicle to secure corporation tax rate setting powers for Northern Ireland. These are powers that the Northern Ireland Executive has been seeking to secure for a considerable period of time. This will provide the Executive with a powerful lever to transform the Northern Ireland economy and place it on a significantly higher growth path.
“The introduction of this Bill today has brought us closer to securing these powers than ever before and we must maintain the momentum to ensure a lower corporation tax rate becomes a reality for Northern Ireland.”
Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster MLA said: “I am very pleased that the next step towards the devolution of corporation tax has been taken. We are now on the cusp of delivering upon our ambitious commitment to secure these powers for the NI Executive. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that can act as a stimulus to rebalance our economy and grow the private sector.
“Securing these powers is only the beginning, and we need to make sure that they are accompanied by complementary measures which will allow us to take full advantage. This means ensuring we have the right offering in areas such as skills and infrastructure that a growing private sector needs. Work is already underway by DETI and Invest NI to ensure our sales proposition is tailored for a low corporation tax environment.”