Leaders in business tax talks with PM

Published Wednesday, 19 September 2012
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The corporation tax issue was top of the agenda at Downing Street as the First and deputy First Ministers attended economic talks with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Leaders in business tax talks with PM
NI leaders in corporation tax talks. (© UTV)

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness argued the case for devolving the power to set the business tax rate locally, as they met Mr Cameron alongside political leaders from Scotland and Wales at the joint ministerial council summit in London on Wednesday.

The talks come in the wake of the announcement that 760 workers at engineering firm FG Wilson in Northern Ireland will be made redundant by the end of this year.

Mr Robinson said: "It needs to be tackled - we need to rebalance our economy.

"The government, nor indeed the Executive, has any other proposal on the table other than a reduction the level of cooperation tax. I think we have to deal with that."

Mr McGuinness said: "It's all down to how much it will cost and at the minute the cost that has effectively been pitched at us by the Treasury is a cost way beyond our means, so what we require is a political decision by the Prime Minister and political powers that be."

Currently the level of corporation tax in Northern Ireland is at the UK level of 28%, while the Republic of Ireland sits at 12.5%.

Business leaders argue that lowering it could attract investment and in turn create jobs.

The next stage will be a meeting in several weeks time of the Treasury and Executive ministers - however it is not expected to lead to a breakthrough in the issue.

© UTV News
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2 Comments
Pat in Belfast wrote (677 days ago):
It is a sad reflection that our politicians regard this as the only suggestion to improve our economy! However at least they're trying. However it will take some time and London will insist on a payback in the form of a block grant reduction. Are there any suggestions on how we cope with that while we are waiting on the payoff from the inward investment? In the meantime our politicians are busy doing stupid things like flying to Cuba to look at their health service!!! Every penny we have should be going into the local economy. Tke social housing for example, I make the following points : 1. The demand for more is greater than ever. 2. The housing associations have sites ready to go out to tender. 3. Because of this dreadful recession the builders are quoting to build these houses at cost price and up to 20% below cost price. 4. House building keeps all trades in employment. (Whereas roads and bridges only keeps machine drivers in work). So it's a win win win situation and what is happening? The housing associations are getting there budgets cut by massive amounts! I really son't see the logic. Someone please explain.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (678 days ago):
Corporation Tax must be lowered in NI in order to attract investment. How can NI compete with the ROI with a 28% CT? I know that corporation tax is not the only factor in drawing in investment but its a big factor. You just have to look at how successful a far lower corporation tax has been for the ROI. Now ROI is even considering lowering their CT again to from 12.5% to 10%. Not all countries can afford to lower their CT but thankfully countries such as ROI and NI can. At last, im happy to see an article on the news that isnt about stupid parades or rioting but articles about our politicans putting aside their differences and trying to sort out our economy. If Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness succeed in getting the CT lowered, that would be a great result for NI and they both deserve credit for that.
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BRIAN ROWAN
The pictures from Stormont this week showed us how politics here still walks in and out of step.
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