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Sinn Féin welcome decentralisation of taxation report

15 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Economy spokesperson and MLA for South Antrim, Mitchel McLaughlin has welcomed the findings of a new report commissioned by the London-based Tax Payers Association that has called for the decentralisation of tax raising powers from the British Exchequer.

Speaking today Mr McLaughlin said:

"On the eve of a visit to the North of Ireland by the British Prime Minister, this report, written by a former treasury economist, is something that Gordon Brown needs to take on board.

"The report is critical of the flawed Barnett formula and states that tax raising powers need to be decentralised.

"Sinn Féin have consistently argued that the Barnett formula is unfair and that it fails to recognise the levels of need that exists here.

"In essence the Barnett formula means that in successive budgets we have received a smaller increase in expenditure than we need and amounts to a very bad deal from the British Exchequer.

"This coupled with the recent hikes in NIE and Phoenix gas charges have highlighted once again the lack of fiscal powers that the Executive have. If we in the north were to have tax raising powers and more fiscal control we would be in a much stronger position to deal with the current economic crisis.

"This is something that we, as a party will be putting to Gordon Brown at the upcoming meetings. I am calling on all other parties to do likewise. The opportunity to press for change is now and should not be missed." CRÍOCH

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