22nd June 2010 | The Belfast office of CB Richard Ellis Group (“CBRE”), the international commercial real estate firm, reacted favorably to some of the initiatives announced by British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in today’s emergency Budget.

While acknowledging that the emergency Budget was tough and will have huge negative repercussions for the Northern Ireland market over the next number of years, the property consultants broadly welcomed the announcement in the Budget that a consultation paper is to be published in the Autumn which will examine changing the corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland as well as reviewing the re-introduction of economic Enterprise Zones in the region.

Brian Lavery, Managing Director at CB Richard Ellis in Belfast said, “For a market that is so reliant on the public sector, the pay freezes announced in today’s Budget will undoubtedly impact negatively on the Northern Ireland economy. Increasing the VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% will also have a negative impact on the market in the region and further deter Euro shoppers from the Republic from shopping north of the border. However, while the measures announced today are painful, it must be remembered that these difficult decisions are necessary to effectively tackle debt and improve the UK deficit position. However, there are some elements of today’s Budget that we welcome. We are very encouraged by plans to discuss reducing the rate of corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland as such a measure would enable us to compete more effectively with the Republic for investment and job creation”.

With regard to the decision to examine re-introducing Enterprise Zones in Northern Ireland, Mr Lavery said, “This is good news for Northern Ireland. Enterprise Zones have a strong track record of stimulating significant private sector investment in infrastructure and buildings whilst a competitive fiscal environment will improve prospects to retain and attract businesses and, by implication, employment. Enterprise Zones have been part of the economic development framework in the UK since 1981 and CBRE has been involved in more than £1bn of private sector funded projects. Enterprise Zones are due to be phased out in the UK from April 2011 giving more reason to suspect that any new Enterprise Zones in Northern Ireland will have a great opportunity to capture new investment as part of any strategy to grow economic activity".


Marie Hunt
Director of Research
Tel:+353 1 618 5543
Mobile:+353 87 2727115

Brian Lavery
Managing Director
Tel: +2890 438555
Email: brian.lavery@cbre.com

About CB Richard Ellis
CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2009 revenue). The Company has approximately 29,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CB Richard Ellis offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. CB Richard Ellis has been named a BusinessWeek 50 “best in class” company for three years in a row. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

In Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, CB Richard Ellis is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company, now employing over 110 employees and offering a full range of property services including property sales and acquisitions, leasing and management, investment, corporate services, project management, consultancy, valuations and research. CB Richard Ellis Ireland has been listed among the top 50 Best Workplaces in Ireland, 2010, for the sixth year running. Please visit our website at www.cbre.ie or www.cbre.ie/ni