With Paterson gone is it also the end for NI’s Corporation Tax concession?

So we have a new Secretary of State? Great. But what does it mean? Well, locally he was very much a moving spirit behind efforts to reinvigorate the fortunes of the Conservatives in Northern Ireland. To that degree, he may be much missed. Or not.

He did not mind ruffling a few feathers, and was/is unapologetically of the right on his party. One thing he did do and even his critics would not take this away from, was to carry a lot of water on the issue of Corporation Tax.

It was a popular cause amongst business in Northern Ireland amongst whom he probably did some of his strongest networking. In the campaign for a cut in Corporation Tax he probably built his strongest standing local.

What of Corporation Tax concessions, now he is gone?

Well, the Treasury did not like one little bit. Set aside the natural control freakery of the Government’s main budget holders and consider the range of fires giving Northern Ireland such concessions would set off in Scotland for instance.

And, it seems, Sammy Wilson was not too keen on it either, since any short term falls could not be guaranteed without Northern Ireland administration having to deliver further cuts.

Paterson was both a committed and passionate advocate for NI having control over its own Corp Tax rate, largely through his own political conviction that it would help Northern Ireland arise out of what he liked to refer to as its Soviet style economy.

It seems that Northern Ireland is not yet ready for such great leaps forward. And in the absence of its only visible advocate inside government, the odds have to be much better than even that Corporation Tax cuts are now firmly off the table.

  • lamhdearg2

    listening to yesterdays media, Its gone already, How the local press would be able to convey this to the N.I. public even before the lady got her legs under the table, one can only assume they where briefed, (nod and wink style)

  • lamhdearg2

    At the risk of being accused of wobbly balls, heres something, Theresa, has show an interest in N.I. , see below

    Theresa Villiers at Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Theresa Villiers is to give evidence to the NI Affairs Committee
    The transport minister is to give evidence later to members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

    This I believe was in relation to N.I having 2 airports, I have been unable to ascertain the view she gave on the subject.

    ps, IF joe got a yellow, due to his responses to my comments, I dont think it was deserved.

  • lamhdearg2

    Sorry this was from the bbc, 20th june 2012

  • Mick Fealty


    Please use quotes so the rest of us know when you are talking with your own voice… a link would be good too… (if it is on topic of course, I suspect you have the wrong thread here)…

    I’m in private conversation with Joe re his Yellow…

  • lamhdearg2 @ 12:23 pm & 12:48 pm:

    This is part on the continuing enquiry on “An air transport strategy for Northern Ireland”. The next session is Wednesday next, 12th September. The witnesses are Willie Walsh for BA and, for Ryanair, the ever-provoking … ta-rah! … sadly not, just Kate Sherry, an under-strapper.

    The transcript of Villiers on 20th June is here.

  • SDLP supporter

    Glad if the campaign for a 12.5% Corporation Tax is dead. IMHO it was always a crock, an ersatz panacea to generate more fees for deeply discredited global accountancy firms, many of whose partners should be (and might still be) up on criminal charges for the way in which they have facilitated tax avoidance and evasion in recent decades.

    Economic regeneration will only come about in the North when we have political stability, an excellent educational system for all-and that includes good literacy and numeracy for all levels-and Invest NI grants only for those businesses which produce internationally-tradeable goods and services. For example, it was a nonsense for Invest NI to give grant assistance to Coca-Cola, outside Lisburn, for a useless product, which is basically coloured water, full of sugar, which only rots people’s teeth and which is a subsidiary of a cash-rich multinational when never needed grant assistance in the first place.

  • Mick Fealty

    And the SDLP has a plan for all this?

  • Mick Fealty @ 2:29 pm:

    Probably not. But as was implicit in your headline piece, that means no need to subsidise Corporation Tax out of imposts on consumers (as has to happen in the neighbouring jurisdiction).

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Certainly hope it’s the end. Total red-herring. The only certainty with the reduction in corporation tax is that we’d lose block grant money. Nothing else.

    Isn’t it time to get a bit radical and draw up a true social contract with companies, particularly local start ups associated with software engineering, IT consultancy, biomedical processing, photovoltaics and plastic electronics.

    For those companies determined to suceed locally should be supported with start up grants and as their business grows they should be subject to greater share of taxable income. A bit like the idea with tuition fees. We invest in you, then you return the favour.

    Must declare an interest at this point as I am a student of plastic electronics. What’s more interesting is, the big kahunas in this field happen to be from Belfast, but making their living over in England (specifically Cambridge and London).

  • SDLP supporter

    Yes actually, it does, though I personally don’t agree with a cut in CT as panacea. As someone who has employed a fair few people in the past, there is no magic formula to economic growth. It’s making sure that the workforce is educated to as high a level as possible (the number of people who don’t understand Statistical Process Control, even at graduate level), political stability (which we don’t have here 14 years after GFA and focusing on service and meeting the customers’ needs.

    There is a rate to the bottom all over the EU in relation to Corporation Tax and it doesn’t make sense.

  • lamhdearg2

    Thank you for the link Malcolm, if I get a free hour (which will be never) I will read it.
    Unless of course someone wants to give me the gist of it (please post on the other thread)

    Mick, sorry about the lack of quotes, lunchtime comments are rushed.

  • Mister_Joe


    I think your point about starting fires in Scotland is the key one. Despite the efforts of Paterson, I can’t see it happening. There might be cannons let loose in the EU too, of course.