Belfast Telegraph

Slashing business tax is wrong, say the Green Party

By Michael McHugh

Reducing corporation tax would cost £330m in cuts to Northern Ireland's public services at a time when more funding is needed for health and education, the Green Party has said.

Its manifesto called for "intelligent investment" in small local businesses and co-operatives instead of global giants, and the promotion of a "living wage" and green technology.

As part of the Stormont House Agreement, Executive ministers are due to take powers to set corporation tax from London in a bid to compete for foreign direct investment with the Republic, where a lower rate of duty applies.

The document said: "Public and private sectors should not be set against each other in a zero-sum game. Without public investment in health, education and infrastructure, such as roads and communications, even the best private companies would shrivel and collapse.

"Rather than see public and private as separate, opposed sectors, we recognise their interdependence.

"Rather than impose still more colossal public cuts while giving away tax breaks to multinational corporations, the Green Party in Northern Ireland calls for intelligent investment in the social and physical infrastructure of our society.

"We also believe in directing government support towards small local businesses and co-operatives, rather than global corporations, to allow the grassroots of our economy to flourish."

Belfast Telegraph

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