Think tank recommends Stormont tax-varying powers…

ANY government that doesn’t have any real responsibility for taxes is always going to be regarded as a bit of a Mickey Mouse parliament. The Institute for Public Policy Research has a new report out on the Barnett formula (used to calculate the bloc grants to each part of the UK), and suggests that the devolved administrations should be given powers to alter their own tax levels. It adds the provisor that in Northern Ireland “the new assembly may need time to bed down before financial powers are devolved”. Whether the Executive parties have any desire to ever be given responsibility for something as important as tax-varying powers is another question. That, after all, would involve making tough decisions, something the current Executive is clearly incapable of. (Report in full here.)