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McLaughlin concern at DUP confused thinking on corporation tax

11 May, 2010


Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the Assembly debate on Corporation Tax but expressed concern at the thinking of some DUP Members.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

“I welcome the opportunity to debate this important issue but felt that some DUP Members were confused about what they were proposing or what they actually believe is achievable.

“Some DUP members were bizarrely calling for a 10% temporary rate of corporation tax, the reality is that what is required is parity of 12.5% throughout the island. It needs to be accepted that this is a longterm project and that we should not be wasting time on stop-gap measures.

“Another difficulty is that Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson of the DUP is resisting seeking tax-varying powers or looking pragmatically at ways of achieving corporation tax parity with the rest of the island.

“What some DUP Members fail to grasp is the fact that we adjoin a Euro zone and a competitive corporation tax regime in the South. There is no avoiding the case for transfer of tax-varying powers to the Assembly and approaching this issue with a mind to harmonizing the tax regime, including corporation tax, on the island through a process of negotiation with the British and Irish governments.

“The Economic Reform Group (ERG), consisting of a number of highly regarded Economists has dismantled the arguments of  the British Treasury to transfer of tax-varying powers and the reduction in corporation tax. Sinn Féin supports the ERG analysis and calls on parties to revisit the all-party concensus that was achieved prior to the agreement on the Programme for Government. 

“It is time for the same degree of concensus in a determined effort to achieve corporation tax parity with the rest of the island and in delivering tax-varying powers to the Assembly.  The DUP needs to answer the question, how else are we going to grow the private sector and rebalance the regional economy? Ends

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