Northern Ireland is set to match its corporation tax rate to 12.5 per cent by 2018 in a move which will out the North in direct competition with the Republic for inward investment and jobs.

The deal surrounding corporation tax was secured as part of the Stormont House Agreement, which has brought an end to the long running political impasses that pushed power-sharing to the brink.

The agreement has settled a long-running wrangle over implanting welfare reforms in the region and has established initiatives for finally ridding the region of paramilitaries.

The decision to allow the Northern Assembly to bring the corporation tax rate in line with the Republic will put the Coalition on alert.

Northern Ireland rate is currently 20 per cent, which campaigners say puts the North at a distinct disadvantage to Ireland.

As recently as last week, Taoiseach Enda Kenny emphasised the importance of the 12.5 per cent rate to the Irish economy.

Yesterday’s decision will spark fears that multinational firms will instead choose the North as a location for investment and job creation.

For more on this article, please visit: Irish Independent