Stormont patently unfit to handle tax-raising powers

Admin —  August 22, 2014

TUV leader Jim Allister has warned that the Stormont which squabbles over cuts and welfare reform is demonstrably unfit to handle the devolution of corporation tax powers.

“The June monitoring cuts have put the executive in a spin, with the Health minister declaring a form of departmental UDI. Yet, the inescapable consequence of devolving corporation tax is even more massive cuts in public expenditure, not just for one year, but in perpetuity and of the order of £250m-£500m! How could this Stormont cope with that? It couldn’t, making all the talk about getting tax raising powers dangerous nonsense.

“There is no logic or sense in volunteering for hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts every year in the block grant simply for the ego-stroking capacity to set corporation tax rates, which will only benefit a select few big businesses, but leave the ordinary citizen burdened with huge cuts in health, education and housing. When these chickens come home to roost it wouldn’t be long before the same politicians would be turning to water charges and other local taxes to help make up the shortfall.

“Only the Stormont elite would think any of this a good idea: the very people who day and daily are proving their inability to handle the powers they have.

“The present impasse over something as straightforward as “June monitoring” should be warning enough of the folly of inviting further huge public expenditure cuts through corporation tax devolution.

“Doubtless, post the Scottish referendum, the Treasury will be only too happy to unburden itself of hundreds of millions of public expenditure each year in Northern Ireland, if Stormont remains foolish enough to volunteer for such self-inflicted madness.”

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