"Lower CorporationTax must not be viewed in isolation" - Flanagan
Sinn Féin Enterprise Spokesperson, Phil Flanagan MLA (Fermanagh & South Tyrone) has said that any potential reduction to the level of Corporation Tax must not be done in isolation but must be considered as part of a wider economic regeneration programme.
Speaking this morning at the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee meeting , Mr Flanagan said:
“The possible transfer of Corporation Tax powers to the Assembly has largely been welcomed by the business sector at, however such an eventuality should not be viewed as a panacea for all our economic woes. It must be considered only as one piece of the recovery jig-saw.
“In conjunction with a reduction in corporation tax, there needs to be a focus on a job creation strategy that will ensure people are adequately skilled for future opportunities. Just last week, the University of Cork announced details of the world’s first degree on Cloud Computing. This is an area of huge economic potential and is the type of project that we need pay attention to and investigate the possibility of introducing similar courses here or if we can benefit in some way by perhaps developing close contacts with other Universities throughout Ireland.
“Owen Patterson was in Enniskillen earlier this week speaking with the local business community; whilst there he received a wide range of views on corporation tax. As a representative for a rural constituency, I will work to ensure that any potential reduction in corporation tax will have a beneficial effect for those indigenous businesses in my constituency as well as the Foreign Direct Investors based largely around Greater Belfast.“We need to see meaningful plans to ensure the ‘trickle down opportunities for low skilled and inactive’ sections of our society are available. We also need to see tangible benefits West of the Bann and a reduction in the gap in earnings between the richest and poorest in our society.”