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Bid to devolve rate-setting powers 'will only benefit the rich'

Those who oppose giving the Executive the power to set corporation tax believe such a move would only help big business.

The regional co-ordinator of workers' union Unite, Eugene McGlone, claimed that the richest in society were putting their hand out for more concessions.

"This (devolving corporation tax powers) is just a tax grab and as yet without any requirement to invest in jobs, research or development. It is just a windfall for the richest," he said.

"If allowed to go ahead, this will ultimately have an adverse impact on the block grant. Nearly £300-400m will be cut gradually from the block grant leading to a major reduction in direct services," Mr McGlone claimed.

"The only ones to benefit from a cut in corporation tax in Northern Ireland will be a very small number of companies, including the banks, who pay this tax.

Meanwhile, peer Lord Kilclooney in a letter to the Financial Times remains adamant that claims about the benefits of a cut in corporation tax are over-egged.

"They claim it would create 90,000 new jobs over 25 years. Alas, most of us will not be alive then to expose this nonsense!," he wrote.

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