Stephen Farry stated: “I welcome the tone of the comments from Sammy Wilson. He is rightly emphasising the importance of modernising the Northern Ireland economy, themes that I have repeatedly stressed in Assembly debates.
“While the Executive have nominally prioritised the economy so far, much of the effort has gone into simply addressing the cost pressures being faced by households and businesses rather seeking to restructure the economy. Such actions may have an effect of the pump-priming demand, but they tend to reinforce the status quo rather than rebalance the economy.
“The chance to address some of these problems was missed during the economic recession despite the opportunities from the UK wide fiscal stimulus, including for instance investing in a green New Deal. As a result, Northern Ireland will have the same structural weaknesses emerging from the recession that if went into it.
“The new rhetoric must be matched by action. A new think-tank, the Economic Reform Group, have renewed the campaign for a differential rate of corporation tax for Northern Ireland. A groundswell of economists argues that this would create the biggest step change in transforming our economy from a public sector dependent, low-productivity region to a wealth-creating region.”