Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Corporation tax propaganda should be challenged

Many existing companies in Northern Ireland would welcome a reduction of corporation tax. They would be the first to benefit.

They present the case differently and claim it would create 90,000 new jobs in the next 25 years. Sadly most of us will not be here then to check their guesswork. Amazing that the Governor of the Bank of England cannot advise with any certainty the state of the economy in two years' time but some local campaigners for lower corporation tax can assure us how many new jobs there will be in 25 years' time!

Wilfred Mitchell of the FSB policy states that all political parties at Stormont want this tax to be reduced. They fail to point out that it could result in a reduction of public expenditure of up to £450m. Do we really want to have more schools or hospital wards closed at the same time as existing firms pay less tax?

Mr Mitchell also claims that the lower tax attracts many jobs into the Republic of Ireland. He avoids mentioning that many of these new jobs are then lost.

With an unemployment level of more than twice that in NI no one should seriously compare the RoI favourably with our existing tax levels. Propagandists for lowering corporation tax should be challenged by all groups who want to support the good people of Ulster first.

Lord Kilclooney

House of Lords, Westminster

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