31 March 2020
Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said:
“In these deeply challenging times, the Finance Minister’s budget statement has provided much needed clarity for the year ahead.
“The CBI has long campaigned for a reduction of business rates in Northern Ireland, so many companies will breathe a sigh of relief after this significant cut.
“A non-domestic rate that is more aligned with other parts of the UK will help NI firms compete in the UK market once we come through the COVID-19 crisis.
“CBI Northern Ireland had previously called for a temporary holiday for all non-domestic rate payers. We very much welcomed the Executive’s decision to introduce this measure for a three-month period as a minimum first step in the battle against business costs through this crisis.
“However, as events unfold, Northern Ireland business may need that rates holiday extended to 12 months, in line with non-domestic properties in England.
“The news of nearly £800 million additional COVID-19 funding for Stormont is extremely welcome. As a business community, NI firms are keen to see details published quickly on how all these funds will be spent on the ground.
“Business and government need to continue working together to save lives, protect communities and support businesses.”