Political leaders in Northern Ireland have voted to slash the corporation tax in the region to 12.5pc to better compete for jobs and investment with the Republic of Ireland.
While the Republic of Ireland has steadfastly held on to its 12.5pc rate, Northern Ireland was locked into UK inward investment policies that wouldn’t allow it to adjust its rates for fear of unfair advantage against other regions competing for investment.
Despite this, Northern Ireland has continually landed vital job creation projects, most notably in the areas of software, customer support, engineering and fintech.
However, the new corporate tax rate will put pressure on Invest NI’s counterparts in the Republic of Ireland, IDA Ireland, to compete for mobile investment projects.
Yesterday at Stormont, political leaders secured a deal as part of the Stormont House Agreement to cut the rate of tax that businesses pay on their profits from 2018.
The tax measure is just one of a number of issues covered in a deal entitled A Fresh Start: the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan, which also includes welfare issues and the ongoing problems of para-militarism in Northern Ireland.
Following months of intense negotiations, the document paves the way for corporation tax to be cut to 12.5pc from the current rate of 20pc.
Both IDA Ireland and Invest NI have strong track records in attracting investment to their respective jurisdictions and both have been successful at landing vital technology investments.
The enhanced competition will shine a spotlight on issues like skills and infrastructure in particular.
And the good news is this increased competition ought to raise all boats in terms of infrastructure, skills and value.
Stormont image via Shutterstock