“I would harbour that ambition..”

The Guardian reports that Reg Empey has stated that, as part of those new arrangements, he has a commitment from the Conservatives to designate Northern Ireland as an “enterprise zone”

“What we have agreed is that all of Northern Ireland will be designated as an enterprise zone,” the UUP leader said. “It allows us to start to work on tax issues.” Asked if that would allow Northern Ireland to set a lower corporation tax, Empey said: “I would harbour that ambition to achieve special tax status.”

The Varney Review of Taxation didn’t think much of that proposal from a UK-wide prospective. Adds Anyone asked the Scottish Conservatives?

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  • Elvis parker

    Yes Pete but Gordon gave Mr Varney his answer before he started. Sir Reg appears to have cause to believe that Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Paterson dont have such closed minds on the issue?
    The first fruits of ‘Conservatives and Unionists’

  • ??

    Sir Reg appears to have cause to believe that Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Paterson dont have such closed minds on the issue?
    The first fruits of ‘Conservatives and Unionists’

    so we only get it if we vote tory then??

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps, Ep.

    But Reg’s ambition is one thing, actually achieving it may be another.

    Btw, what do the Scottish Conservatives think of it?

  • frustrated democrat

    The CU’s are united in wanting enterprise status for all of NI including a special tax status, we have 1.7 million people the size of a city in GB, and a 65% Public sector. I don’t think that too many will object as they try to correct that.

    I very good reason to vote CU.

  • bob Wilson

    ‘so we only get it if we vote tory then??’

    I guess so. Generally in a democracy people vote for the party whose policies they wish to see adopted.

    I know ?? that some prefer endless history re-enactments but some of us have jobs/mortgages and children to worry about

  • graduate

    Seriously, never mind Scottish Conservatives. What about English residents? They aren’t going to be too happy about a revised tax rate for one part of UK. Alsoo, will Tories try and pay for it by reducing funding to NI?- something that Labour and Conservative seemt to agree on in my opinion. Needs to be more thinking about this than there was over the name. Stupid CUNFs really- Reg even more delusional than normal. And to think I intially thought a link was a good idea. Poor Cionservatives saddling themselves with the lemming party: over the cliff they go

  • graduate

    Seriously, never mind Scottish Conservatives. What about English residents? They aren’t going to be too happy about a revised tax rate for one part of UK. Alsoo, will Tories try and pay for it by reducing funding to NI?- something that Labour and Conservative seemt to agree on in my opinion. Needs to be more thinking about this than there was over the name. Stupid CUNFs really- Reg even more delusional than normal. And to think I intially thought a link was a good idea. Poor Conservatives saddling themselves with the lemming party: over the cliff they go

  • ??

    You would have thought the Tories would have had the decency to tell Reg they ruled that out even before Varney started:

    form the toryni website:

    Conservatives: One Corporation Tax Rate for UK
    Posted on October 24, 2007 by Editor

    Ahead of the report by Sir David Varney into the Northern Ireland tax system, the Conservatives have announced they would not introduce a differential corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland. They understand the local economy needs transforming and the current subvention from central Government of over £8 billion, representing more than 70% of GDP, is unsustainable.

    To unleash the enormous potential of the Northern Ireland economy, Jeffrey Peel, the Party’s Vice Chair in Northern Ireland, has called on the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, to transform the tax system, improve infrastructure and increase training in order boost the private sector.

    Commenting, Jeffrey Peel, the Party’s Vice Chair (Policy) in Northern Ireland said:

    “We believe a differential rate of corporation tax for Northern Ireland would be inappropriate. We recognise there are other parts of the United Kingdom, like Northern Ireland, that are excessively dependent on the public sector and suffer from structural problems like ours. Therefore any special rate, if offered, would put other parts of the UK at a disadvantage. The answer is to endorse Conservative principles of a simple tax system, improved infrastructure and greater training.”