Belfast Telegraph

Ministers asked to abandon 'unfair' corporation tax rate cuts

Labour has called for Chancellor Philip Hammond to abandon "deeply unfair" cuts to the corporation tax rate, claiming the money could have been used to fund tens of thousands of teachers, nurses and police officers.

The corporation tax cuts will be worth almost £15 billion a year to business by 2021, which Labour claimed was equivalent to employing 10,000 teachers, 10,000 police officers and 12,000 nurses, full-time, every year, for a decade.

The corporation tax rate has been reduced from 28% when David Cameron entered number 10 to 20% and it will reach 19% from April under plans to reduce it to 17% in 2020 as ministers aim to encourage businesses to base themselves and operate in the UK rather than choosing international rivals.

Ministers have said the measures support business to grow and create jobs.

Mr Hammond's Autumn Statement in November noted: "Since 2010, the government has eased the regulatory burden on businesses and reduced the corporation tax rate from 28% to 20% with onshore tax receipts increasing by over 20% over the same period."

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for the further planned cuts to be abandoned.

He said: "We have known for a long time that the Tories' cuts to corporation tax have cost the Exchequer billions and today we have laid bare what this means for our public services.

"Labour is calling on the Government to reverse these deeply unfair tax giveaways and start properly investing in our vital public services."