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.

Speaking to an audience of including insolvency professionals, Lord Reid said that Northern Ireland had good education and highly competitive costs, but lower corporation tax would boost the economy.

He said: "Northern Ireland is still lagging behind the rest of the UK in terms of economic recovery – due in part to the significant property boom and bust, and our exposure to the difficulties within the Republic of Ireland economy. We have high unemployment and deprivation, we have high dependence on the public sector and, of course, we have an economy which has emerged from a troubled past. However, if there’s any area in Europe that has shown itself capable of radical change, it is Northern Ireland, and that’s why I am a supporter of devolving control over taxation to the Assembly here. A lower rate of corporation tax will help transform the economy through encouraging enterprise and reducing our dependency."

Lord Reid went on to tell the annual R3 dinner, held at Titanic Belfast, that lower corporation tax could bring foreign direct investment, employment and research and development investment in its wake.

Lord Reid was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from January 2001 until the suspension of the Assembly in October 2002.


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

23 March 2018
Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Visit Northern Ireland
Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle are on their first official visit together in Northern Ireland. The couple visited the Crown Liquor Saloon Bar and staff from the National Trust told them about some of the history of the bar.
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.
25 May 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.
13 June 2011
Corporation Tax Debate Continues
The debate over the possible devolution of corporation tax to the Stormont Executive has again been highlighted.
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.
08 March 2013
NI 'Dependent' On Public Spending - Villiers
Theresa Villiers has claimed the Northern Ireland's economy is 'too dependent' on public spending. The NI Secretary of State made the remark as she addressed politicians and business leaders at Stormont on Thursday.
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.
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.
14 December 2017
Former HMRC Worker Sentenced For Tax Credit Fraud
A former HMRC worker who lied about being a single parent to claim tax credits has been handed a suspended sentence. Laura Southern worked as a HMRC Benefits and Credits Compliance Manager in Belfast, where her role was to check for fraudulent tax credit claims. Between 2012 and 2017 she fraudulently claimed £34,209.
01 July 2011
Ritchie Still Pushing for Corporation Tax Slash
SDLP Leader Margaret Ritchie has met with the UK Secretary of State on Thursday to again push the case for a reduction in corporation tax in Northern Ireland.
16 June 2006
NI economy continues to perform well
A report published today has shown that the Northern Ireland economy continues to perform well. The Northern Ireland labour market is currently benefiting from historically high levels of employment and continuing low unemployment, and the latest figures show that annual economic growth is above the UK average.
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.
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.
08 June 2011
Treasury Chief 'Taxed' By Number Ten Talks
Peter Robinson, the DUP Stormont First Minister and the Deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness have met the Prime Minister for talks in Downing Street. They looked at budgetary issues with David Cameron in advance of his NI visit tomorrow in a top level meeting that also involved the Treasury's Exchequer Secretary David Gauke.
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.