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There’s no silver bullet for NI’s economic problems, but tax powers would help

Esmond Birnie


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Finance Minister Conor Murphy. Credit: BBC

Finance Minister Conor Murphy. Credit: BBC

Finance Minister Conor Murphy. Credit: BBC

Many might be inclined to agree with what Winston Churchill wrote in 1937: “There is no such thing as a good tax”.

It is doubtful if the Finance Minister’s announcement of a fiscal commission to consider the taxing powers of the Assembly will produce widespread joy. Nevertheless, there is a strong case for such a commission.

Over the last 12 or so years, both Scotland and Wales have had several reviews of the fiscal powers of their devolved governments, the Calman and Smith and the Holtham and Silk commissions or reviews.


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