Sat 6th Jul 2013
Business bodies outline common set of priorities for the Executive
Following a meeting of the Business Alliance (CBI, Centre for Competitiveness, Institute of Directors and NI Chamber of Commerce) on Monday 27 February the group issued the following statement.
Business Alliance members welcome the recent draft Programme for Government and associated documents. There is much to support in these documents which will help improve the competitiveness of the economy, and support job creation. It is clear that there is much common ground across the business community on the key actions required by the Northern Ireland Executive to meet the current challenges facing the economy and set us on a new growth trajectory.
Members of the Business Alliance are in agreement that the following key issues must be addressed in finalising these documents in the coming weeks:
- The need for a higher level of ambition, and a demonstration that there will be an urgency and focus on delivery of key economic commitments
- The need for a more ambitious and comprehensive export strategy, appropriately funded
- A focus on delivering a positive decision on devolving Corporation Tax by the summer
- The need to ensure that sufficient finance is available to support SMEs so that jobs are maintained, that companies with growth potential are able to expand, and, where appropriate, that funding is provided to help companies re-structure.
NI Chamber of Commerce President, Francis Martin concluded “There is strong agreement across the business community on what must be done to help build confidence, encourage investment and deliver jobs in our local communities. The Executive is clearly moving in the right direction. With some additional ambition and determination, together with clear performance measures and timelines, we are confident that the recovery can be accelerated.”
CBI Northern Ireland Chairman, Ian Coulter, said “ Achieving a growth in jobs is essential to restoring confidence, but that will only be achieved if we ensure there is a sufficient flow of different types of finance to our small and medium sized companies.”
Centre for Competitiveness Chairman, Stephen Kingon, said “With Northern Ireland facing the prospect of losing Regional Aid status at the end of 2013 the Executive needs to push hard to achieve the devolution of Corporation tax, and be open to securing other tax incentives to achieve the full benefits of lower Corporation tax.”
Institute of Directors Chairman, Mervyn McCall, said “Across the whole Executive there must be a joined-up approach to delivering economic growth, and ensuring that all government decisions are ‘economy proofed’. The Executive must focus on delivering those actions that will help rebuild and rebalance the economy and deliver maximum impact.”