Belfast Telegraph

Corporation tax cut to cost Northern Ireland £500m

By Noel McAdam

Cutting the rate of corporation tax in Northern Ireland would cost the Stormont Executive more than £500m over two years, it has been revealed.

Negotiations between Assembly Ministers and the Treasury are ongoing following the 'Fresh Start' deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein last autumn which saved the Assembly from collapse.

Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleior said the latest estimate of the net cost of a 12.5% rate to the Executive is £270m in 2020-21, falling to around £235m in 2021-22.

In an Assembly written answer to Ulster Unionist MLA Philip Smith, he added: "The estimates were calculated following the Government's 2016 Budget reflecting policy changes announced at the time."

And he added: "Any further reductions to the UK rate of corporation tax would be expected to reduce these estimated costs.

"The costs for devolving corporation tax powers to the North have not been agreed with the British Government and engagement on this and other related issues continues."

Mr Smith said, however: "The minister has stated that he is committed to the rate and timetable for reducing corporation tax but he has also previously said that the final cost of cutting the tax is not known."

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