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Richard Bruton: I'm not worried about Northern Ireland cutting corporation tax

“We will compete and continue to compete hard.”

RICHARD BRUTON HAS said he is not worried about the possibility of Northern Ireland cutting its rate of corporation tax.

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has backed the devolution of corporation tax powers to Northern Ireland’s Assembly.

He said the devolution was dependent on a successful outcome of the negotiations aimed at resolving issues such as including flags and parades.

The current tax rate paid by businesses in Northern Ireland is 21% and the government has been pushing to lower it to match the 12.5% in the Republic.

Speaking before the announcement, Jobs Minister Bruton said he would welcome the move and is ready to “compete hard”.

“More power to them, we thrive on competition.

“Any day I go into a board room you know that the Dutch or British or someone is going to be in there behind you pitching and that is part of international business. But anything that’s good for the Northern Ireland economy is good for the economy here … We will compete and continue to compete hard.”

Speaking in Dublin today, Bruton also welcomed the fact that 144,645 people left the Live Register in the last 12 months.

He said the Government had created some 80,000 jobs since coming to office and would “comfortably exceed” its target of 100,000 jobs by 2016.

Bruton noted that growth in exports was moving into the domestic sector, with more jobs being created in construction and retail, “sectors that traditionally employed people that have been displaced by the crash”.

Despite this, he warned there was “no room for complacency”.

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