It’s reported that George Osborne is planning a shoddy deal with the DUP in Northern Ireland to devolve corporation tax powers to Stormont in exchange for support for the Conservatives in the next parliament.
This would be a disaster for Northern Ireland because the upfront economic impact will be a significant cut under the block grant from Westminster that will require massive cuts in pubic services in Northern Ireland under EU law. Andrew Baker of Queen’s University Belfast explained all this in two articles, here and here, which I strongly recommend to anyone who has concern on this issue. This blog of my own on the issue in 2010 also sets out all the issues – and may be the lace to start.
If anyone wants to damage the Northern Ireland economy cutting its corporation tax rate is one of the best ways imaginable to wreak havoc whilst such a move days after the Smith Commission reported is naive at best. Osborne is a desperate man is all that can be concluded.