“What’s the point of devolving tax powers if we barely use the ones we already have?”

HNIW36 from The Detail on Vimeo.

Excellent use of data to throw light on why it is probably better to refer to Stormont as an administration than a government from Newt Emerson and The Detail… I’ll just add these stills from the video to get the conversation going…

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  • barnshee

    Taxation powers if exercised would bring accountability to the door of the politicians for the effects of any such exercise. and God forbid politicians would get any blame.

    It might upset the orange/green applecart

  • Ian James Parsley

    This was widely discussed at a recent NICVA event.

    The reason politicians don’t use them upwards is indeed that it would make them more accountable. That is why they will only ever open discussion on things most people would never pay (like prescriptions), and not on things which would affect a majority and thus bring in real money (like rates).

    There is, however, still very much a point in new tax powers. They should be put under increased pressure for the balance between tax and spend. It is simply not good enough to blame the Tories.

    The Scottish Election just got interesting precisely because tax-raising powers are available and two parties have announced their intention to use them. It will be very interesting to see what the electorate’s reaction is…

  • We spend far more than any other part of the UK and our services aren’t one iota better. There is an absence of accountability, and total disinterest in media past a one day hiatus that politicians know will blow over. Our entire system is based on an ability for elected politicians to pass the buck to someone else. In Health, Donaldson report too hot in details, kick any issue pre-election down the line with another review. In education, five education systems not enough, lets create another to cover capital spend and expect people to think its positive by using word ‘shared’. Consultation, get all the groups you already pay out of public purse to make the case for more of anything so long as it means you are seen to do something by cherry-picking the least difficult suggestion rather than address the more difficult fundamentals. And the rest.

  • chrisjones2

    We have to keep feeding all the politicians to stop them killing us and each other

  • chrisjones2

    a key issue then is how do rates compare between say Belfast
    Manchester and Dublin for a standard industrial unit of say 2500sq ft.

    Anyone have the data because it looks like the total tax take here even with low Corpo Tax will be higher than anywhere else …so why would anyone relocate apart from Brass Plate companies who will pay zero rates but process huge income volumes

  • Nevin

    “Yet despite an assembly theoretically tilted to the left [SF, SDLP and Alliance] all it’s ever done with the rates is freeze them or fiddle with them” .. Newton

    Apart from Alliance, the other four parties are nationalist rather than left or right. Unionists tilt towards London, nationalists towards Dublin. The analogy for the Assembly is tug-of-war, not see-saw and the big beasts, DUP and SF, carve up the petty cash.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Have you spoken to Newton Emerson directly about this?

  • mickfealty

    Scottish situation is really interesting Ian, got some links I want to blog over the weekend on Kezia’s proposal. It’s a really crude proposal but I think its intended to chase some pretty heavy inertia out of the current Scottish system…

  • chrisjones2

    …and at heart locally they are all socialists who agree on economic policy which can be summed up as milk the UK for all we can get and take no hard decisions that might disturb our electoral base. Or as Thatcher once said

    ” They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”

  • murdockp

    a comparison for SME’s is included below

  • aquifer

    So: Small businesses here are destroyed by high rates.
    Old people in houses too big for them need not pay till they die.

    This is a system for the toffs in the big houses, keeping the peasants peasants and poor!

    Empty buildings in this wet country were to pay rates.

    Were these ever collected?

  • aquifer

    So that is why all those little shops are empty!

    Why risk armed robbery when fiscal robbery is already a certainty.

  • barnshee

    “So: Small businesses here are destroyed by high rates.

    Old people in houses too big for them need not pay till they die.

    This is a system for the toffs in the big houses, keeping the peasants peasants and poor!

    Empty buildings in this wet country were to pay rates.”

    *old people” in houses big and small pay rates
    Empty commercial buildings are rated (at a discount) but they are subject to rates

    NI is hamstrung with a gross public sector and a population size far in excess of its intrinsic ability to support –producing a subsequent dependency culture