Northern Ireland corporation tax move slammed

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I was on Radio Ulster this morning. The following article on the local BBC web site has resulted:

A leading tax expert has said that devolving corporation tax powers to Northern Ireland would cost it £300m from the Westminster block grant.

NI business leaders have united in a call for corporation tax to be devolved to the assembly.

Seven leading business organisations have written to MLAs and to NI Secretary Owen Paterson.

Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK said the tax move would not guarantee a single new job.

"The truth is the Irish Republic's tax system is fundamentally different from the UK, there is absolutely no way on earth that Northern Ireland could reproduce what the Republic offers and as a result this is a gamble that would cost £300m out of the block grant," he said.

"If you are going to spend £300m on attracting businesses into Northern Ireland this has to be the worst way possible.

"The Confederation of British Industry said in evidence to the House of Commons a couple of weeks ago they couldn't guarantee a single new job as a result of this for Northern Ireland and they are right."

Mr Murphy said he believed it was "extremely unlikely" corporation tax would be devolved to Northern Ireland due to European Union rules.

He added that if there was a different tax rate in NI it would "put a barrier to trade" between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Mr Murphy also said that there was already a large number of companies in Northern Ireland who paid the small companies rate of corporation tax which was "significantly lower than the 28% for large companies".

In fairness the article goes on to note that not everyone agrees with me, but not long ago this was a wholly one sided debate, It isn’t any more. .