People pay Northern Ireland the compliment of wanting to live and do business here:

News Letter editorial of Wednesday February 17 2021:

By Editorial
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 9:00 am
News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

Northern Ireland faces many political problems and social and economic challenges.

It is too dependent on financial subsidies from London.

It is still a divided society.

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It now faces a barrier to its most important trade, with the rest of the UK.

But at the same time, Northern Ireland has long been an attractive place to live or to visit.

We know that because so many expats miss the Province when they move elsewhere, and try to come back as much as they can on holiday. And large numbers of people who try such a life in another part of the world ultimately return to live permanently in their home country.

Now a PwC report finds that Northern Ireland is the best place in the UK to live and start a business.

The findings surveyed 4,000 people across the United Kingdom.

This is not so surprising when you think about it. There is a great sense of community here. NI is small enough to be intimate but large enough not to be claustrophobic.

And if at times it does feel restrictive, it is relatively easy to take a break elsewhere. Transport links in and out have been hampered by Covid but over the longer time they have got better and better: be it ferries from the ports, flights from Belfast, or flights from Dublin.

Housing is much cheaper than in major cities and so you can more affordably raise a family with some living space.

For all our reliance on the public sector, some private industries are doing well.

Meanwhile, home working means that people can have jobs based in another city but perform most of their day-to-day duties in NI.

As Northern Ireland celebrates its 100th birthday, what better compliment could there be than that people rate it highly as a place to live and do business.

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Alistair Bushe