Long says lower corporation tax is least we deserve following cuts

On the day that the Finance and Enterprise Ministers are giving evidence to an inquiry into the reduction of corporation tax by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster, Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP said that following poor private sector growth figures released earlier this week, Northern Ireland needs the positive stimulus for the economy, which could be delivered by a reduction in corporation tax.

Naomi Long MP said: “The cuts delivered by the Comprehensive Spending Review have not only impacted on the public sector, but have impacted on wider public and business confidence and this is in danger of compounding the effects of the cuts with a general contraction in the economy. At best, recovery in Northern Ireland has been fragile, and even the small improvements which were emerging are now at risk.

“A reduction in corporation tax could provide the catalyst we need to help drive our economy out of recession and rebalance it so that we depend less on public sector funds going forward; however, it is clear that in the short term the loss of income would have to be borne by the NI Executive, and today is an opportunity to discuss with Ministers the impact which the change could have and their view as to how that can be managed.

“The ability to attract high value inward investment would be helped by a reduction in corporation tax, particularly given our land border with the much lower corporation tax zone in the South, as it would allow us to compete on a more equal footing.

“Corporation Tax is not a silver bullet; however, it is one of the few options available to us which could deliver the step-change to the economy which we desperately need.

“I have also pressed the Government to bring forward their promised proposals on rebalancing the economy as a matter of urgency as it is only by concerted effort in Westminster and Stormont that we will be able to create the optimum conditions for economic growth.”


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