Ritchie Blasts Government Time-Wasting Over Corporation Tax
MARGARET Ritchie, SDLP MP for South Down, has hit out at the UK government’s lengthy delay in coming to a decision on the devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland.
Speaking from Westminster Ms Ritchie said: “The UK government talk a lot about rebalancing the economy but we have seen very little in the way of action. The stream of rhetoric about developing the economy and creating private sector growth is in clear contrast to the dithering and procrastination that has typified the government’s approach.
“In response to my recent Parliamentary questions on the matter, the UK Chancellor provided absolutely no indication of when a decision would be taken. I have subsequently asked just how much corporation tax is currently raised in Northern Ireland, as projections about the impact of lowering the tax rate will be decisive in determining how this proposal will be financed and the impact on the block grant.
“It is now three months since the Ministerial Working Group handed their report over to the Prime Minister and the government’s dithering is especially damaging at a time when businesses most need assurance to plan for the future.
“I will continue pressing the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on this. For some time it has seemed that corporation tax was the government’s most urgent policy for the Northern Ireland economy, and I hope this delay is not an indication that the Prime Minister is backing away from it due to opposition from the UK Treasury.”