25/05/2011

NI Corporation Tax Amounts 'Unknown'

An Ulster Unionist politician has welcomed a new report on Corporation Tax from the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

The influential committee has said there is a convincing case for lowering corporation tax in NI and said a reduction could boost the private sector and help innovation and exports.

It was however critical too and said it was "surprised to discover that HM Treasury do not know how much corporation tax is raised in Northern Ireland".

It said it is up to the Stormont Executive to decide what rate it should be lowered to with the current rate set at 28% compared to 12.5% in the Irish Republic.

Mike Nesbitt, (pictured) a member of the Assembly's Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said: "The Ulster Unionist Party welcomes this report as further vindication of our decision to call for the power to vary Corporation Tax to be devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

"I have always regarded a reduction in Corporation Tax as the lead element in a basket of measures comprising an Economic Enterprise Zone and I therefore welcome the comments that continued progress needs to be made on other economic development policy mechanisms such as planning, education, incentives for Research &Development and exporting," he said.

The former UTV journalist also indicated his surprise at the news that the Treasury did not know how much corporation tax is raised in Northern Ireland.

"I am in full agreement that the Executive should have access to as much information as possible before deciding if and how it wishes to lower the rate.
News Image
"It is therefore essential that the Treasury takes steps urgently to establish a system which can accurately assess how much corporation tax is collected in Northern Ireland," he said, noting "this report will help inform the on-going debate and consultation process which is currently underway".

The Stormont Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, has also commented on the report, which the DUP Minister welcomed: "I very much welcome this report from the Affairs Committee. Its conclusion that there is a convincing case for devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland comes at an important stage in the Government's own consultation process on Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy. This report provides a significant contribution to that consultation.

"The issues it raises are extremely complex and we must recognise that changes in corporation tax alone cannot meet all of our economic needs," he continued.

The Minister concluded: "I also very much agree with the Affairs Committee's conclusion that the Executive needs to know just how much tax is raised here. Costs should not cripple the economy in Northern Ireland in the short term. This will be vital in helping us decide how we can take this forward."

The Sinn Fein Finance Committee Member Caitriona Ruane has also welcomed the NI Affairs Committee report that concludes that the lowering of Corporation Tax would help economic recovery.

"The NI Affairs Committee recommendations that lowering of Corporation Tax would benefit the economy is an endorsement of what Sinn Fein has been proposing for a number of years.

"Sinn Fein has long called for a harmonisation of the Corporation Tax across the island of Ireland to ensure that we can compete for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on the same basis as the rest of the country in order to grow indigenous business on a level playing field," she said.

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 June 2011
Corporation Tax Debate Continues
The debate over the possible devolution of corporation tax to the Stormont Executive has again been highlighted.
03 June 2011
Corporation Tax 'Con' Highlighted
The debate over a possible reduction in NI's rate of corporation tax to better match that of the Irish Republic is continuing with a NI House of Lords independent crossbencher saying the public is being "conned" by the pro-tax cut campaigners.
30 May 2012
Reducing Corporation Tax Could 'Transform' Economy
Lowering corporation tax for Northern Ireland would "transform" the economy, according to a former secretary of state. The Right Honourable Lord John Reid of Cardowen called for decision-making powers on corporation tax – which currently stands at 24% - to be devolved to the Northern Assembly.
23 June 2010
Wilson Calls For 'Responsible Spending'
A lot of pain, and little gain for NI is being anticipated from the Chancellor's emergency Budget yesterday. Stormont Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, said Northern Ireland would have to find substantial savings over the next four years.
11 June 2003
Government targets car tax evaders
Motorists throughout Northern Ireland who do not license their vehicles will be targeted in a new campaign to recover millions of pounds lost each year in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) evasion.
19 February 2018
Northern Ireland To Play Israel At Windsor Park
Northern Ireland are to play against Israel in a friendly international on Tuesday, 11 September. The match will take place at Windsor Park at 7.45pm. The game comes three days after Northern Ireland play Bosnia and Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.
05 December 2014
Talks Progress Must Be Made - NI Secretary
Theresa Villiers has said the chance to make progress in the latest round of political talks in Northern Ireland must not be missed, after Chancellor George Obsorne said he would devolve corporation tax in the event of agreement.
03 October 2011
Corporation Tax Devolution 'In The Balance'
NI's money matters have been in focus nationally with news that the NI Secretary of State's plan to vary corporation tax and devolve it to the Stormont Assembly may not be achieved as easily as first thought.
20 May 2010
PM Flies In For Stormont Meeting
Prime Minister David Cameron is in Northern Ireland today. He is at Stormont Castle where he is meeting First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in this, the first NI trip since the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats sealed their own power-sharing deal at Westminster.
08 January 2015
Corporation Tax Bill Published
Legislation which could allow Northern Ireland to set its own rate of corporation tax has been published. The Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill would allow the region's tax powers to be devolved to Stormont from April 2017. Currently, businesses in NI pay 21% in corporation tax, compared to 12.5% in the Republic of Ireland.
29 June 2011
Ritchie Can't Believe Wilson On Corporation Tax
SDLP Leader Margaret Ritchie has claimed Finance Minister Sammy Wilson "doesn't believe" in the policy of reducing corporation tax, despite leading the negotiations with the UK Government.
08 July 2015
SDLP Hits Out At Chancellor Over Cut In Working Tax Credits
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been slammed for targeting lone parents after he announced a cut in Working Tax Credits. SDLP Enterprise spokesperson Patsy McGlone MLA said George Osborne issued a "Budget against working people".
30 April 2012
Cochrane Concerned For Impact On Charities
Alliance Finance Spokesperson Judith Cochrane MLA has expressed concern on the impact on charities from the Treasury's proposals for reducing tax relief for donations to a charity. Her comments were made during an Assembly debate on this issue.
30 January 2004
FSB calls for tax year date change
The Federation of Small Businesses has called for "common-sense changes" that would make administering the tax self-assessment scheme easier for everyone. According to reports as the nation scrambles to meet this weekend’s tax self-assessment deadline up to one million taxpayers could miss the January 31 deadline and face an automatic fine of £100.
07 July 2011
Enterprise NI Focuses On Corporation Tax
The voice of enterprise needs to be heard clearly in the clamour of the current discussion of initiatives to stimulate growth in the private sector, according to the new chairman of Enterprise Northern Ireland.