Trade Leaders Set Out Business Concerns With Shadow Chancellor

A group of Chief Executives from the Northern Ireland business community have met with the government's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer to set out their concerns for the industry.

The region's largest business coalition, Trade NI highlighted issues surrounding Brexit, business rates, infrastructure and other challenges that face their members currently and pose risks for the coming years with Labour MP John McDonnell.

A review of the non-domestic rating system was announced by the Department of Finance in May in response to the crippling effect of high rates on high street and town centre businesses.

The meeting comes as the Shadow Chancellor visited Northern Ireland to meet workers at the Harland and Wolff shipyard and express solidarity in their ongoing fight against the firm's move into insolvency.
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Trade NI representatives Colin Neill, Glyn Roberts and Mary Meehan said the meeting allowed them to outline their ideas to reboot economic policy.

They said in a statement: "We made it very clear of the importance of getting a EU withdrawal deal and avoiding the damaging scenario of a no deal Brexit. Labour party MPs have a key role in ensuring that Parliament does not allow the UK to crash out without a deal.

"Trade NI also outlined our concerns over Business Rates, with Northern Ireland having the highest rates in the UK with very few reliefs which businesses in other parts of the UK receive. Nor did we receive our fair share of the Future High Streets Fund and we are also falling behind the rest of the UK in relation to infrastructure investment.

"At our meeting we encouraged the Labour party to publish its policy priorities for the Northern Ireland economy. Trade NI would be interested in engaging further with Shadow Ministers to help shape their policy."


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