The EAG has noted the announcement today by the UK Government and NI Executive of an Economic Pact for Northern Ireland.

The Chair of EAG, Kate Barker said: “It is positive that the UK Government and NI Executive have been working to develop an economic pact to help improve the economic opportunities for Northern Ireland.”

On the impact of a reduced corporation tax rate the Chair said: “EAG has consistently stated that corporation tax has the potential to be a highly significant economic policy for Northern Ireland and any further clarity on this issue is to be welcomed.”

In relation to the Group’s review of Access to Finance she stated, “EAG’s recent analysis on Access to Finance for small and medium sized enterprises in Northern Ireland is an important piece of work and any progress on the implementation of the recommendations contained in our report is encouraged. The EAG expect implementation of recommendations to be taken forward as quickly as possible.”

The Chair concluded, “In terms of EAG’s involvement in the implementation of economic pact proposals, it will be important for the Group to fully consider the detail of any proposed action – though the Group are open to the possibility of looking at new policy areas.”