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21 January 2015

Question Time: Enterprise, Trade and Investment 20 January 2015



What impact will the proposed devolution of Corporation Tax have on job creation and inward investment? That was one of the questions asked of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, during today’s Question Time. “Corporation tax can be a major stimulus for jobs and investment in our local economy. Bringing about a step change in economic performance is not possible without implementing new powers.” The Minister expects the economy to grow by 11% as a result of changing the corporation tax level to 12.5% from April 2017.

Mrs Foster also gave her assessment of the latest Tourism Ireland overseas visitor numbers. The Minister described the figures as “very positive” and expressed her confidence that Programme for Government tourism targets will be met. She also spoke of her focus in working with different airlines to get routes from Canada, Germany and the Middle East direct to Northern Ireland.

During Question Time the Minister also discussed planned redevelopments of Royal Portrush Golf Club in anticipation of hosting the Open Championship in 2019, the potential tourism benefits of opening the Ulster canal and the funding available for tourism events. During the topical question period the Minister also answered Members’ questions on the JTI Gallaher closure, the ‘Gas to the West’ project and plans to increase economic activity in Armagh.