19 3 mins 10 yrs

As you know, not all unionist parties support the quest for a dramatic reduction in Corporation Tax rate. TUV is to the fore in opposing what is being planned. However DUP and UUP support the rush to slash CT but might this end up breaking the Union? Now read on…

A potentially serious mistake in the Budget is the proposal – not yet confirmed – to allow Northern Ireland to levy the same level of corporation tax as its neighbours in the Republic.

George Osborne signalled that corporation tax in the UK is to fall to 23 per cent over the next four years but this is still double the rate levied by the Dublin government. And now the Treasury has launched a consultation exercise to determine whether Northern Ireland should be allowed to match that rate – half that of the rest of the UK.

Owen Paterson, the Conservative Northern Ireland Secretary, is backing the move as are most businessmen in the Six Counties and the behind-the-hands whispers from the Treasury indicate that they’re likely to grant the change. This may well be of benefit to the Northern Ireland economy but, frankly, it would be a political disaster for the Union. If Mr Osborne does allow such a dramatic reduction in the level of corporation tax to be levelled by the Belfast Assembly, then there no absolutely no way that he can deny it for the Scottish Parliament. In that, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and John Swinney, his finance minister, are absolutely correct.

Consider the further consequences…

If the Scots get it, then there is little doubt that the Chancellor would have to allow the Welsh Assembly to go the same way. And if that does happen, is there any way that the regions of England – especially the hard-pressed North West and North East – could stand and watch all inward investment heading to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, without demanding the right to reduce their company taxes to the same level as the Celtic fringes? It may a bit far-fetched to suggest, but we could be left with a situation where only the South East charged the full whack. And what price a United Kingdom if we get to that situation?

Unionists seeking to harmonise Northern Ireland CT with the Republic – so breaking the fiscal bonds that bind the UK – may yet end destroying the Union.

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19 thoughts on “COULD UNIONISM BREAK THE UNION?

  1. Has anyone dared suggest a radical reduction in “corporation” tax acrosds the UK anyway?

    All this “if the RoI has it low, NI must have it low, and if they have it low we must have it low” is to admit that the lower the tax the better the economic performance.

    This is no surprise, because corporation tx is paid, primarily, by staff in the form of lower wages. When you lower corporation tax you leave more money in the pocket of the working man to do with as he pleases, so yes, economic performance will tend to improve.

  2. David Vance –

    Well, this is the thing. How can anyone claim that CT ought to be changed in Northern Ireland only and, at the same time, argue for the integrity of the Union?

    CT is a UK tax with a UK rate which is levied on a UK-wide basis. Whether intentional or not, arguing for the NI rate to be lowered is to argue for seperation from the UK and to imply that it’s not quite a part of the UK on the same basis as elsewhere.

    Are some people so dim as to not realise this?

  3. >>That’s why we argue for it to be lowered right across the Kingdom.<<

    Now, now, David. In a letter to the Newsletter you argue for continuing the block grant from London and complain that

    "the long overdue rebalancing of our economy is not best achieved by devastating our public services. Having to sack teachers and nurses in order to boost business profits is an intolerable asking price and TUV argues for a more balanced approach."

    This tax issue seems to be turning traditional Unionists into socialists and the Shinners into laissez-faire marketeers.

  4. David,
    Quite right . It needs to be low across the UK, and the whole country needs to be declared an enterprise zone, not just a few areas.
    The thing is though, that the breakup of the Union has begun and will continue; thanks mainly to that smarmy Tony Blair’s premiership, and his commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

    Thus began the “Hiberniasation” of English politics, and ever more perks being sent north of the border courtesy of the English taxpayer.

    As an Englishman I was appalled at how many Scots were appearing in influential positions in that LOUSY,CORRUPT government. Interfering in and dictating to, the largely supine English population.

    But it hasn’t really stopped, and the stupid activists across the borders will bully and cajole their people into breaking away from the “dreadful English” and asserting their own brand of “Mel Gibsonesque democracy”.

    The tragedy is that they CANNOT sustain themselves, but will remain economic basket cases dependent like druggies on English largesse.

    The absolute nonsense of pretending that ANY of these countries can have real, meaningful economic independence from England is risible. And WHY should they seek it?
    All it will do is to weaken the economic viability of the British Isles as a whole in order to satisfy the conceit and puffed up self importance of their self appointed tribal leaders….

  5. Au contraire. TUV supports Lord Barnett who has argued for the Barnett formula to be changed to reflect social needs. Scotland would get less, England more and NI more. Pete Moore is spot on in what he says.

  6. So David, your opposition to the lower corporate tax is REALLY about the politics?

    No!!!!! 🙂

    I think the TUV are barking up the worng tree with this- profit/lower taxes seekers are rarely sectarian. Rarely.

  7. “This tax issue seems to be turning traditional Unionists into socialists and the Shinners into laissez-faire marketeers.”

    Spot on Noel and it is hilarious.

    “”the long overdue rebalancing of our economy is not best achieved by devastating our public services. ”

    David, you didn’t? LOL

  8. Right as usual Pete. Suppose this is a great success and NI starts adding jobs at a reasonable clip. Imagine that it contributes more to the treasury in CT at the lower rate that it did before at the higher rate. Would not that be evidence for everyone that the rate should be reduced throughout the UK.

    Of course as a republican I should then fear that a common CT rate will lead through black magic to Ireland rejoining the UK. But like most people even on my most paranoid day I couldn’t match the wild imagination of the TUV.

  9. Not a bad article David, but it is a departure from your ATW character in parts.

    🙂

    Of course, I agree that the economy can not be rebalanced by cutting services in health, education, social welfare, etc.

  10. My ATW character is not standing for election! I think that there is quite a bit of support for the view I take on CT – I am amused that the DUP and Sinn Fein can unite on the one thing that will wreck small business and imperil our already up for cuts public sector. I hope to debate Sammy “Milton Friedman” Wilson at some point during the campaign and we will see who can best articulate a coherent view. Unless, of course. Mr Wilson privately agreed with me….

  11. Henry94,
    “Of course as a republican I should then fear that a common CT rate will lead through black magic to Ireland rejoining the UK.”

    By all means, retain your culture -such as it is.
    But what’s wrong with joining together with the UK as a more effective trading block, more employment/tourism opportunities etc.?

    It is this backwards looking, hanging on to wrongs done hundreds of years ago,
    attitude which causes so many problems.

    How come I as an Englishman can appreciate the skills of your Rugby Union team,
    enjoy Michael Flatley, Father Ted, The Fureys, your comedians; I even like that old Hollywood film ‘The Quiet Man’!
    Yes, I know,
    sad.
    But I don’t think the English dwell on the past to the same degree of negativity as some of our near neighbours….. and take a look around England some time,
    It’s full of Scots, Welsh and Irish; all working alongside us and taking their pay…

    Can’t be that bad, can we? 🙂

  12. So your positions on ATW and your positions as a TUV candidate are different? Really?

    I would love to see you debate wee Sammy- you’ll make toast of him. 🙂

  13. The are many things I like about England. The Rolling Stones and Manchester United for example. But let’s just be friends ok?

  14. Pete Moore posted:

    When you lower corporation tax you leave more money in the pocket of the working man to do with as he pleases, so yes, economic performance will tend to improve.

    Eh? CT is levied on net profits before dividends. The only losers are the shareholders.

    Do you seriously believe that a cut in CT rate would be “passed on” in higher wages as opposed to higher dividends?

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