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Sinn Féin welcomes PwC support for transfer of tax-varying powers

9 June, 2010

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has welcomed the support for tax-varying powers expressed by Esmond Birnie Chief Economist with PwC and former UUP Assembly Member.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

“I welcome this expression of support from PwC Chief Economist, Esmond Birnie for tax-varying powers to be transferred to the Assembly. Sinn Féin was the first party to propose this position to the Assembly but unfortunately other parties’ - in particular unionist parties’ – initially opposed the proposition. I am encouraged that parties’ and commentators are now embracing this position

“It is encouraging that as reputable economists, and other business advice organizations, publicly recommend such an approach to fiscal strategy, that there is a growing political consensus on the need to acquire maximum fiscal powers for the Assembly.

“It is generally accepted that the Tory/Lib.Dem coalition will impose severe cuts to the Executive finances and it is imperative that we take measures to mitigate against the worst effects of these cuts. I believe that an effective way of being more in control of our economic destiny is having the ability to raise finance. One of the essential tools to achieve this is tax-varying powers. I call on all parties in the Assembly to now seriously examine the need for fiscal powers that will assist us in mapping the way forward for our economy. ENDS

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