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Northern Ireland corporation tax will be decided at Westminster, says Paisley

 

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Ian Paisley says corporation tax will be in the hands of Westminster MPs.

Ian Paisley says corporation tax will be in the hands of Westminster MPs.

Ian Paisley says corporation tax will be in the hands of Westminster MPs.

Corporation tax will be decided at Westminster, a senior DUP figure has said.

Sinn Fein has said corporation tax will likely not be introduced until 2021. Invest NI, which is responsible for job promotion has said the tax cut to 12.5% will not come for at least two to three years. That would be 2020 at the latest.

The announcement by the previous Executive of the devolution of  the tax was heralded as a major game changer for the Northern Ireland economy.

It was hoped the lower business tax would be in place by April 2018 allowing Northern Ireland to better compete with the Republic.

MLA John O'Dowd has said the UK's forthcoming departure from the European Union and the economic policies of Donald Trump's presidency has added an unknown factor which has impacted the introduction of corporation tax.

The outgoing DUP MP Ian Paisley has said the matter will now be in the hands of the new government. Potentially an English MP could make the ultimate decision.

"SF has broken the assembly," he tweeted.

"Power is slowly going back to London. Corporation tax levels for NI will be set in Westminster."

He added: "We can ask HMG [Her Majesty's Government] to implement corp tax cut given they have already set our rates. This is moving in our direction."

 

Speaking on the BBC Stephen Nolan show, economist John Simpson said Invest NI and local politicians were having to deal with an unwanted situation that had been "thrust upon them".

"All of us are now going to suffer the cost of uncertainty," he said.

"Brexit was always going to create uncertainty in terms of economic development. Up to now people have been arguing the economy has been doing remarkably well and I understand that.

"Equally we can say now with certain confidence that we don't exactly know what the rules of the game will be in two years time with Brexit.

"In Northern Ireland terms we will lose investment because people will postpone decisions - I say postpone meaning we might not necessarily lose the investment, but some could be lost.

"If there is a quick Brexit, we may want to offer other incentives other than corporation tax."

Glyn Roberts, of Retail NI which represents independent business, said investment was also required in other areas such as infrastructure in order to make Northern Ireland a more attractive prospect for investment.


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