NI Executive must consider full range of options to best support Manufacturing sector growth and employment
Investment in skills and infrastructure more effective than ideologically-driven race-to-the-bottom on corporation tax
Davy Thompson, Regional Coordinating Officer for Unite welcomed a statement by the Minister for Finance, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir that there was no firm commitment to progress a reduction in corporation tax rates in Northern Ireland:
“We welcome today’s statement by the Minister for Finance which shows that there is still uncertainty within the Executive over whether to proceed with a reduction in corporation tax rates at the cost of even deeper cuts to public sector expenditure.
“The race-to-the-bottom on corporation taxes represents an ideologically-driven approach focussed on attracting low-value added and transient investment at the cost of investing in skills and infrastructure offering the hope of a transition to a higher value-added economy.
“Only last week the former Australian Treasurer, Wayne Swan, admitted that he regretted his previous advocacy for lower corporation tax rates denouncing it as ‘yesterday’s solution to our problems’. As he correctly noted, lowering corporation taxes makes little difference to higher-value added companies which already pay virtually no tax whatsoever.
“Instead of cutting public services to engage in an unwinnable race-to-the-bottom, the Executive must prioritise investment in skills and apprenticeships, and our transport, energy and water infrastructure. We must attempt to attract and support jobs on the basis of our fundamental strengths not on transient fiscal advantages.
“The cost of this policy is likely to be at least two hundred million pounds a year – just imagine what that level of investment every year could do for our infrastructure or skills provision. Surely, the Northern Ireland Executive can have greater ambition for our economy than this” Mr Thompson concluded