Sat 6th Jul 2013
In Camera with Sammy Wilson, Minister for Finance and Personnel
Above: Finance Minister Sammy Wilson pictured with Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor and Conor Cahalane from event sponsor Davy NI
Finance Minister Sammy Wilson addressed members of Northern Ireland’s business community on 10 October at the latest Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce ‘In Camera’ event of 2012.
The ‘In Camera’ series brings public representatives, civil servants and representative bodies together with Chamber members and businesses from right across Northern Ireland.
Speaking before the event, held at the Merchant Hotel and sponsored by Davy NI, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Sammy Wilson here this evening. The Department of Finance and Personnel is one of the most important in government and is charged with balancing the books in what are financially very difficult times. In addition, the Finance Minister is heavily involved with discussions on the Working Group on corporation tax with the UK Treasury.
“A cut in the current Corporation Tax rate makes sound business sense for Northern Ireland and is probably the only way to help bring our competitiveness closer to the UK average. In addition, greater access for smaller companies to private finance would help in restoring confidence within business. For instance, of 276 million euro invested by venture capitalists in Ireland last year, only 10 per cent went to companies in Northern Ireland.
“Our message to the Minister is that we will step up to the mark in the fight against unemployment and other structural problems in the economy. To do this we need the support of government in London for the reduction of corporation tax, and of Invest NI and local enterprise agencies here for existing businesses.”
Outlining the Executive’s commitment to rebuilding and rebalancing the economy, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson commented:
“The Executive is committed to doing all we can to create the conditions for growth. My Department is committed to achieving the power to set its own level of Corporation Tax for Northern Ireland. However, it is important that the business community understand that a reduced rate of Corporation Tax must be at a fair price. I will continue to press Northern Ireland’s case for the best possible deal for the entire economy.”
The Minister concluded: “Banking and access to finance also remains a strategically important issue for my Department. I will be closely monitoring the new Government Funding for Lending Scheme which opened in August to ensure it has the impact we so urgently need. I will also continue to press the Government and local banks to take all steps necessary to ensure our businesses have the finance they need made available so they can continue to trade and grow. I believe that with both the public and private sectors pulling together in the same direction we can deliver on our economic objectives.”