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Corporation tax cut 'an economic disaster'

The core of the NI Conservatives' economic case is that there should be a cut in corporation tax (Write Back, June 28). This tax-cut would immediately boost the profits of existing businesses. It would be matched by an equal cut in the Westminster block grant.

The cost involved would be up to £500m per year, though so far no upper limit has been placed on this figure.

The Tories assert a corporation tax cut will create jobs. Well, we know for certain that an additional £500m cut in the block grant will certainly cost jobs.

Tens of thousands of them will be lost in the public sector, with massive knock-on redundancies in the private sector. We are asked to believe economic forecasters that the cut in corporation tax will cause businesses to create a much greater number of jobs than those already lost.

It is more likely that we will be driven into an even greater recession, with unemployment rising much further.

To create jobs in Northern Ireland we need an end to the Tory austerity agenda at Westminster. An alternative approach should include measures such as a temporary cut in VAT.

This would put money in ordinary peoples' pockets and stimulate spending and generate jobs.

Given the Tories' economic strangulation strategy, it is no wonder the Executive is ineffective. If it proceeds with a corporation tax cut, it risks disaster.

BOYD BLACK

Secretary The Labour Party in Northern Ireland

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