As the Stormont crisis deepens, businesses and employers have called on MLAs and the NI Executive Ministers to stay in their jobs and implement the commitment of each party to introduce a lower rate of corporation tax for the region.
The call came from Grow NI which represents groups and companies employing over 200,000 people who said the move is vital if they are to grow the private sector.
Issued ahead of First Minister Peter Robinson’s resignation, the statement from the umbrella grouping said the direct and indirect benefits of reducing the rate of corporation tax would bring thousands of jobs, increased training and apprenticeships and increased funding for local government through extra rates.
“As the cost of not implementing lower corporation tax grows by the day, it is vital that MLAs and NI Executive Ministers get on with the job of introducing a lower rate,” said Eamon Donaghy, chair of Grow NI.
“We know that companies abroad have already deferred, sometimes permanently, decisions to invest in Northern Ireland.
“This is reducing the level of employment and average wage and is directly contributing to increased inequality for people living here.”
A lower corporation tax rate, Mr Donaghy said, would allow businesses all across Northern Ireland to create more jobs and would also make it much easier for ambitious companies to compete internationally for investment and employment.
“A return to direct rule would make devolution of corporation tax legally impossible and economically would be an enormously retrograde step,” he added.