North Down DUP candidate Alex Easton has said that help for businesses and attracting more jobs to North Down will be a key priority during the next Assembly term.

He said, ‘Arlene Foster has launched a five-point plan for Northern Ireland and the first of these is for more jobs and higher incomes. During the last term we attracted 40,000 jobs to Northern Ireland and the target is to secure another 50,000 during the next five years.

I have always sought to ensure that business has been prioritised within North Down, ensuring that grants available are publicised and working to secure the public realm improvements and pressing for a freeze on business rates at a local level.

During the last Assembly term, whilst there was great success in attracting jobs, Northern Ireland was continuing to feel the effects of the global downturn. During the next five years I would hope that we can start to see a better economic outlook for the Province so that the benefits of jobs and investment are more strongly felt right across the community.

The devolution of Corporation Tax will be a key tool in attracting that investment. We support the devolution of these powers, not for the benefit of businesses, but because of the people who can be employed and the households who can see extra income to help pay their bills. Alongside that extra income the DUP will protect family budgets, maintaining Northern Ireland’s record of the lowest household taxes.

If we are to build a stronger Northern Ireland, then we must build a stronger economy. Attracting inward investment must be coupled with support for our indigenous businesses, particularly the small and medium sized enterprises which are the backbone of our Province.

Stormont has a role to play in this process, by helping to create an environment where businesses can prosper. Keeping rates low and working to reduce the bureaucracy faced by businesses are key priorities for the DUP and I commit to working to keep these issues at the top of our agenda during the next Assembly term.’