Corporation tax decision due in months: Arlene Foster

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Arlene Foster

The enterprise minister has told MLAs a decision to devolve power to vary the rate of corporation tax could be made towards the end of the year.

Arlene Foster was giving her first-day brief to the enterprise committee.

She said she endorsed reducing the rate which would be a "radical change needed for the Northern Ireland economy".

The current corporation tax rate in the UK is 26%, compared to 12.5% in the Republic of Ireland.

Low rates of corporation tax are considered an important means of attracting overseas investment.

Mrs Foster referred to a report issued by Westminster's Northern Ireland affairs committee on the previous Monday and the economic advisory group report which issued its response later that day.

She said both were supportive of reducing corporation tax but neither was prescriptive as to the rate.

Committee chairperson Alban Maginness agreed there was a "political consensus on devolving power to the Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to corporation tax".