The Northern Ireland Investment Summit is in Belfast this week and is very timely as it can showcase all that is good about the country, and the Summit will help pitch why international businesses need to invest, or reinvest, here. The Summit is being organised by the UK Department for Business and Trade and the Northern Ireland Office, together with Northern Ireland’s inward investment agency Invest NI, with around 120 investors and businesses from around the world attending. It will help showcase innovative local businesses in the hope that more money will be available for them to grow and prosper.
Calls To Lower Corporation Tax Rate
Meanwhile Chartered Accountants Northern Ireland have called on the government to lower the corporation tax rate to make it more competitive with the rate at present in Ireland where it is 12.5%. Here is what Janette Burns, chair of the Northern Ireland Tax Committee of Chartered Accountants Ireland, is quoted as saying in an article in the Belfast Newsletter today (12th Sept 2023):
“In the year of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday (Belfast) agreement, the Investment Summit taking place this week is an opportunity for over 100 leading investors and international businesses to see first-hand the talent, and expertise that Northern Ireland has to offer, not least in the innovation and technology sectors.
“However, we can’t overlook the fact that the cash flow of many companies here is taking a significant hit with corporation tax bills up by almost 32%. Coupled with ongoing inflationary pressures, this ultimately means significantly lower after-tax profits, and less cash for investment to drive company growth and expansion, reward employees, and create high value employment.
“The UK Government clearly recognises Northern Ireland’s unique position. Now is the time for our politicians to grasp this additional opportunity. A rate of 12.5%, matching that in Ireland, would give Northern Ireland companies a real competitive edge in attracting foreign direct investment and energising indigenous businesses to thrive and prosper.
Economic Benefits Of A Lower Rate Are Well Known
“The economic benefits of a lower rate and the steps needed to implement it are well known and were highlighted again recently by the work of the Fiscal Commission. But we need our Executive back in situ to start the ball rolling on this and many other urgent issues in education, childcare, the economy, and health. Northern Ireland’s business leaders want our politicians to get on with this work in order to transform the region into a truly dynamic and attractive place to invest, do business, live, and work.”
Everyone in business understands the benefits of a lower corporation tax rate but whether this leads to any action by the powers that be to reduce this tax burden in the foreseeable future remains to be seen.