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Corporation tax


The Prime Minister David Cameron, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers and Chancellor George Osborne are willing to make the change once all-party talks are decided. The Assembly, the Treasury and HMRC are operating in the background to ensure a smooth changeover for the implementation process.

Business leaders in favour of the change trust it will renovate the economy by attracting large companies and helping local companies to propagate. Many civic and union leaders against the change trust it will reward already profitable businesses by making them even more lucrative.

Supporters are encouraged by the Chancellor’s receipt of the argument, whereas, critics are anxious about the effect on public services and public sector jobs.
Irrespective of which side is favoured, however, deliberation must be given to how a lower rate of tax is introduced once the final decision is met.


There is no uncertainty that a substantial growth initiative to allow investment in infrastructure, skills and business is needed to increase the long-term prospects of the economy.
In this context, lower corporation tax will perform as a catalyst for economic growth, higher-wages, increased productivity and a greater private sector.

It will generate jobs for young people and others by permitting them to work in the region rather than leave to seek jobs elsewhere with slight chance of return.

Lower corporation tax will entice home thousands of young and not so young people with a rich collection of skills and experience as more and better-paid jobs are formed. 

It will also assist small businesses, as the existence of more large companies will make available opportunities for entrepreneurs and local firms. Most prominently, it will provide hope: hope that the economy will transform from sluggishness to growth and society will change from past troubles to future wealth and opulence.


Critics highlight that European Commission rules on state aid mean any gain from a lower tax has to be paid for by a reduction in the block grant Stormont obtains from the treasury.
This forewarning introduces risk as the time lag between the outline of a new rate and any payback will be hard to forecast and difficult to manage.

There may also be unintended penalties as England, Scotland and Wales react to the fact that Northern Ireland will enjoy a more beneficial tax.

One of the ironies is that while a lower rate will help create jobs for young people it may also have an undesirable effect on education budgets; as a result, getting the timing right between lowering the tax and generating income is vital.
SO, as the debate about lower corporation tax continues businesses will do what they do best: create jobs, generate wealth and help build a better society.

Barry Quinn


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