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Ask yourself: why does Sinn Fein back corporation tax cut?

Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank economist, has a more balanced opinion than that given by many local politicians.

He does not repeat their unexplained claim that a lower tax rate would create 50,000 jobs and that, after 20 years, when the same politicians will not be around to answer for misleading the Ulster people.

He quite rightly stresses that a lower tax rate could attract new jobs but note he resists saying that it would! Where he fails is to expose the likely loss of jobs in agriculture, education and health as the Treasury reduces the annual block grant to Stormont as the Executive reduces the tax rate.

He does note the growing criticism of devolving corporation tax which is coming from more businessmen. It is also opposed by the Greens and the TUV, so there is no longer a political concensus.

What is surprising is the silence of the farmers' unions, health unions and teachers' unions, as it is their members who will suffer from the reduced block grant.

Of course, local businesses will benefit even if the ordinary public suffer. Hence the support of the CBI and the IoD. On this rare occasion Sinn Fein is right - the business community will benefit but the rest will suffer. Nonetheless, unbelievably Sinn Fein supports the lower tax rate. Its reason is that, even if it hurts ordinary people, it wants a uniform tax rate in the island of Ireland - a step towards its objective of a united Ireland.

LORD KILCLOONEY

Co Armagh

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