David Ford stated: “This has the potential to completely transform the Northern Ireland economy. Alliance is committed to rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy and the growth of the private sector relative to the public sector. Accordingly, Alliance has been a consistent advocate of a differential rate of Corporation Tax for Northern Ireland, ideally at 12.5%, as the best means to generate a step-change in our economic fortunes.
“Through attracting and incentivising local high value added companies to Northern Ireland and also shifting the pressure on indigenous businesses from managing costs to maximising profits, the productivity gap with the rest of the UK would be closed and there would be an increase in export-orientated growth.
“Alliance welcomes this consultation paper from HM Treasury. We do not underestimate the significance of the Treasury being prepared to allow variance in Corporation Tax in one part of the United Kingdom. Our legacy of violence and division which has impeded efforts to regenerate the local economy plus the reality of investment competition on the island of Ireland do justify such measures.
“Alliance is committed to supporting any measures required in Assembly to take advantage of the opportunity that would arise if the UK Parliament devolves the power to vary the level of Corporation Tax to Northern Ireland.
“We do accept that a reduced level of corporation tax alone is not a silver bullet. It must be complemented by investment in skills and training, and improvements in our infrastructure. But the converse is also true that local steps to invest in economic drivers will not realise their full benefits without a competitive tax regime.”