Failing to meet the deadline for cutting corporation tax will make a mockery of those who were recruited to support the move – including screen star Liam Neeson.
According to Belfast wealth management company Johnston Campbell Ltd, Northern Ireland’s business community has also been let down by the inability of the local parties to work together.
It comes after Stormont admitted its April 2018 target date for getting the power to lower the business levy to 12.5% “may slip” amid the collapse of power-sharing.
After months of luring major foreign investment on the premise that Northern Ireland will have a lower 12.5% rate by April next year, Invest NI admitted it will “amend its international sales and marketing activity to reflect this”.
Kerry McCaughan, wealth management director with Johnston Campbell Ltd, said: “It seems that the UK Government is using the ‘lower rate of corporation tax’ carrot to try to persuade Stormont to get their act together.
“The potential for the deadline to slip makes a mockery of the support of those drafted in to promote the new 12.5% rate of corporation tax.
“The inability of the local parties to work together is once again letting down both the business community and Northern Ireland as a whole.
“This corporation tax cut is vitally needed at a time when it could save businesses that are struggling in the current climate and encourage more entrepreneurs to make the leap into business.
“When businesses are facing such uncertainties, the lower rate is needed to attract overseas investors and allow Northern Ireland to compete more effectively with the Republic. Northern Ireland needs this rate cut in some shape or form, so this slippage will be very disappointing for many people who had banked on it.”