PM to 'look carefully' at tax report

Published Tuesday, 20 November 2012
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Prime Minister David Cameron said he will look carefully at a report on corporation tax - but made no definitive commitment.

PM to 'look carefully' at tax report
Corporation tax was on the agenda as the PM met Stormont leaders. (© Pacemaker)

First and deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness handed the document to Mr Cameron during his visit to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, when the trio took part in an hour-long meeting at Stormont Castle.

Mr Cameron said he will study the report in detail - however he insisted that giving the region power over its tax rate is not the only solution to its economic difficulties.

Speaking after the talks, he said: "I have just received today a report by the Executive about the issue of corporation tax. We will study that carefully.

There are a lot of complicated issues to be hammered out. It isn't straightforward. It is not a single answer to the problems of Northern Ireland's economy.

David Cameron

"I have always seen some major reasons and advantages for moving ahead on this not least because of the border you have with the Republic.

"We clearly need a bigger private sector here in Northern Ireland so there is no one single solution. It is also other issues we need to address as well.

"But I think we are making some progress."

Advocates of the tax plan to reduce the local tax rate to 12.5% believe it will improve the region's ability to attract investment and allow NI to compete on a level playing field with the Republic.

However the cost would be a loss of Assembly finding from Westminster.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: "We have talked about the economy in Northern Ireland, the difficulties we are facing possible ways of moving forward including the devolution of corporation tax.

"And we have talked about matters relating to our shared future in Northern Ireland. It has been a very useful meeting. We have already arranged with the Prime Minister that we will have further contact particularly over the corporation tax issue."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "Clearly during the course of the meeting we had an opportunity to go into detail about what we could do to tackle the economic situation much more effectively."

It is understood the three leaders will meet again in London to discuss the issue.

© UTV News
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4 Comments
Jane in Derry wrote (704 days ago):
Its cheaper to do business in the North than the Republic. But Dublin will always be a more attractive place to global companies.
Paul in Belfast wrote (704 days ago):
I read a report in The Irish Times that said the C.T companies pay in Ireland is not 12.5% but what they pay on average is 6.5%. I believe companies will always choose Ireland to do business than the north. 6 people in my family work in the Republic as they could not get jobs here. They say the infrastructure and skilled people they have in Dublin is so good. The Republic will bounce back and will bring jobs our way.
Charles in lisbellaw wrote (704 days ago):
@Ryan in Belfast, What planet have you just popped in from??, or are you having a laugh!!. The Irish free state was bankrupt when I fled from it nearly 40 years ago, and today it is, if anything a lot worse off than way back then. Ryan, Do you ever be talking to anyone from the Irish free state ?, The place is well and truely on its knees and still looking down and back!!. 1000's of jobs my a--- !. Why don't you try and look for a job down there, Try needles in haystacks!!. The only jobs in the free state are in the black economy, where the corporation tax rate hardly matters.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (704 days ago):
If Corporation Tax is not devolved to stormont and set the same or lower than the republics current CT rate then you can forget about NI competing with the Republic, businesses and anyone with common sense will choose a far lower corporation tax rate over a high one. Thats not to mention the Republics high standard of skilled workers and graduates. Now i know the North has its own skilled work force but even giant companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc have even admitted that the republic is their favourite place in Europe to do business due to the low corporation tax rate and the ease of doing business, thats why thousands of jobs will be created in the 26 counties over the next few years whenever the Global economic mess is sorted.
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