Belfast Telegraph

Treasury: no decision on corporation tax cut until summer

A decision on whether to hand Northern Ireland control of its corporation tax rate will not be taken until next summer at the earliest, the Treasury has said.

That is when the ministerial working group, which met for the first time at Stormont last week, is expected to produce its final report.

A decision will be taken “following this”, the Government said yesterday as it published the results of a public consultation into the plans.

The document revealed that three-quarters of the 700 responses to the consultation were in favour of a tax cut, although support was “not universal”.

Responses to the consultation, which ended last summer, came from business, trade unions, political parties, local councils, think-tanks and charities.

Support was almost universal among businesses, the report said, with most responses coming from small and medium-sized enterprises across a range of sectors.

Organisations said a reduction would allow them to take on more employees, create a “level playing field” with the Republic and attract more foreign cash.

Opponents, including trade unions, raised concerns about the impact of a cut in the block grant, and said there was no guarantee that businesses would reinvest their extra profits.

There were also differing assessments of the benefits to the economy of a cut in Northern Ireland’s corporation tax rate to 12.5%. Westminster’s consultation document said it could lead to an increase in domestic investment of £110m over a decade.

In a separate study, the Economic Advisory Group said it believed the economy here would grow by 13.8% by 2030.

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