Sat 6th Jul 2013
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Budget Statement
21 March 2012
Commenting on today’s Budget, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce said:
“The Chancellor has tabled a number of measures which offer some assistance to business but there’s more that he could have done…and should be done as soon as practicable.
Whilst we welcome the reduction in corporation tax, it is not enough for Northern Ireland. We urge the Treasury to speed up their response on the call from the Northern Ireland Executive and the local business community for a reduction in Corporation Tax to the rate currently operational in the Republic of Ireland. Reducing this tax will increase FDI and stimulate greater investment by SMEs in particular in areas such as innovation and export development.
Business here will have limited benefit from the national loan guarantee scheme, announced on Tuesday as not all our banks have access and those that do are still risk adverse. Access to finance needs further consideration. We note the additional support for start up companies in Enterprise Zones in Scotland and the plans for Wales. The Chamber has long urged a similar approach in Northern Ireland and will continue to press Government for such an initiative for start-up companies here.
Bureaucratic obstacles inhibiting small and medium sized businesses are still not being effectively addressed comprehensively by the Government for the benefit of all companies especially those in manufacturing or those with a turnover of more than