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Task force call to help South Armagh reap benefits of Corporation Tax changes

Infrastructure issues including roads and rural broadband need to be tackled as part of the changes which will come in with the changes to Corporation Tax.

According to Newry and Armagh Assemblyman, South Armagh and areas west of the Bann need to benefit and preparations must begin.

Mr Bradley, deputy chairperson of Stormont’s Finance Committee, has joined with Fermanagh and South Tyrone SDLP Assemblyman Patsy McGlone, chair of the Enterprise and Investment Committee, in calling for a new task force to be established to enhance key areas of the Northern Ireland economy.

They want such a body in place to examine the practical requirements for the devolution of Corporation Tax.

Speaking at the Assembly this week, Mr McGlone said: “In light of the revised financial priorities emerging from the Stormont House proposals and the now confirmed devolution of corporation tax varying powers, it’s essential that the Assembly commits itself to enhancing the local economy in preparation for these changes.”

Meanwhile,  Mr Bradley added: “Today the SDLP are calling for a new cross-departmental task force to work intensively on two key economic drivers.

“The first is the preparation of new capital projects, making use of any new or reallocated funds. A key failing of this Executive has been its inability to see through significant capital projects that would sustain and boost the construction industry and supply sector.

“We need a new focus on building capacity and streamlining processes around capital projects that will support our core industries and that must be matched by political will to move projects forward.

“We also need to seriously and strategically prepare for corporation tax varying powers.

“We need comprehensive investment in a range of infrastructure elements to ensure we get the most from any change in corporation tax.

“There are issues around the supply and condition of water, our roads infrastructure, as well as the provision of broadband, mobile phone capacity and office accommodation capacity.

“These issues are especially acute for the areas that have been neglected and discriminated against in the past, such as rural South Armagh and areas west of the Bann.

“We have the opportunity to transform the local economy, but only if Departments collectively commit to significantly increasing support for local industry.”

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