Corporation Tax is not Northern Ireland’s elephant in the room…

So, Corporation Tax cut bites the dust, for another year at least. I doubt we can entirely blame disunity at OFMdFM for this particular dropped ball though. It was very much a project of the previous Secretary of State. The Chancellor (or rather the Treasury) was never keen, and David Cameron does not need to queer his Scottish referendum pitch.

The latest indicators suggest that the number of entrepreneurial businesses have halved, even if those surviving are now more profitable. Tougher conditions from banks desperate to right their balance sheets have been squeezing otherwise good business out of business, with little help from government only kind words.

David Elliott in the Telegraph today:

While it may seem as if the movement has lost traction (perhaps that’s the effect of the snow?), the deferment doesn’t mean the issue has been shelved for good and at least David Cameron hasn’t said no.

Rather than shutting the door on the issue he’s made clear that he’ll revisit it in 2014, an answer which isn’t ideal but is much better than the ‘no’ he could have given.

Still, it’s a shame that Mr Cameron hasn’t been brave enough to grant an action which was novel, clever and self financing.

The Northern Ireland economy has suffered enough through the years from disadvantages that weren’t created by the hard working business people who make up our number but which still curtailed our daily operations.

With cuts coming down the line, Northern Ireland is going to face massive social challenges not yet seen. Corporation Tax is one practical measure. But, no more than massive investment from Europe, it is not enough to enable Northern Ireland to regenerate.

For that we need an overhaul of the education system, greater inward investment and smarter use of community employment.

But the elephant in the room, is our seemingly terminal inability to deal seriously with the causes of violence and disorder, amongst the most pressing being poverty and alienation.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty