Cochrane supports the exploration of devolution of greater fiscal powers

Alliance Finance spokesperson, Judith Cochrane MLA, has expressed her support for the exploration of the devolution of further fiscal powers. She was speaking during an Assembly debate on Monday.

Judith Cochrane MLA said: “There are very few serious Parliaments across the world without significant tax-varying powers and taking on further responsibility may provide the Executive with better flexibility in responding to the economic and social challenges we face in Northern Ireland.

“The Alliance Party has always been a supporter of greater fiscal devolution because it has the potential to increase the efficiency and responsiveness of government; however, we are realistic in our approach and do not believe full fiscal autonomy is an option.

“Our motives for fiscal devolution should be to make sure we have the tools to deliver our policy aims. This is one of the reasons why Alliance supports the devolution of corporation tax.

“Fiscal devolution comes at a price – a reduction in the block grant – and whilst we would like to be more radical in the longer term, our priority should be to seek the devolution of tax powers, or derogation from national tax policy changes, where there is expected to be a clear benefit to the people of Northern Ireland.

“Furthermore, if we are to take on greater tax-varying powers, we must ensure that we build the shared future required so that our economic policy can be given the greatest chance of success.”


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