The issue of corporation tax must be devolved to the Assembly. Margaret Ritchie made the call during Question Time when she asked the British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to make up her mind on the issue. The South Down MP said it was vitally important that the corporation tax issue was resolved as quickly as possible. “The Secretary of State has today assured me that real progress has been made on this issue and I look forward to seeing this leading to economic growth in the north of Ireland,” she said. “I welcome the comments of Ms Villiers who has indicated that corporation tax if devolved must be done in a way which would not impose unnecessary administrative burdens on business. Last Thursday the working group on corporation tax concluded their deliberations which will be submitted to the Prime Minister and I hope he can come to a speedy decision on the matter. I am mindful that any cost to the Northern Ireland block grant from devolving corporation tax must be reasonable and proportionate if our economy is to prosper. The lowering of corporation tax offers the real potential to rebalance our economy, grow our private sector and in particular and secure inward investment. There is also the prospect of increased job opportunities for our young people who have recently been compelled to leave our shores for work abroad. We want to see action on this now not vague commitments. I would remind the Secretary of State that enough time has been spent on this issue and that there is the political will and determination to have corporation tax devolved and grow the Northern Ireland economy.
30th October 2012