Leo Varadkar needs to stand up to the Franco-German axis for Ireland and the small nations of the European Union

Since it became clear that Angela Merkel would be re-elected as German Chancellor, there has been a re-focused approach to tax harmonisation within the European Union, driven mostly by Emmanuel Macron’s France, along with Germany. This has been covered by numerous media outlets and there is little I can add to the conversation. The argument is that France and Germany who are now both stable and revitalised after momentous national elections, will look to readjust the balance of Europe. It … Read more

Devo Max with corporate tax cut ” disastrous” for NI

This powerful case against the SNP’s Devo Max plans including a 3% cut in corporation tax is made in the academic  website The Conversation by  Arthur Midwinter Associate Professor, Institute of Public Sector Accounting Research at University of Edinburgh  and a former adviser to the former Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament  Johann Lamont. It is difficult to see how “devo max” could be workable in the UK system. The aim should be to achieve maximum devolution and accountability while … Read more

Corporation Tax powers finally set to be devolved?

The Belfast Telegraph has a number of articles about the devolution of control over Corporation Tax: with a timeline here. From the Belfast Telegraph: Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am optimistic that we will get a positive answer from the Prime Minister. “I think that the Government wants to do this and we have made a very robust case to them.” A senior Tory source concurred with this assessment. However, the cost of cutting the tax is likely to … Read more

#G8: Taxation should remain focused on capital and employees not where sales are generated…

Sammy Wilson’s negative comments re the Republic’s tax regime at the weekend, just before the G8 convened, was clearly jumping on board mumbling from the US Congress, and Westminster PAC… …the British government does have some leverage on the Irish Government there, because they have a £7.5 billion loan, that is a lot of leverage. They should be saying to the government in the Republic, you cannot steal tax revenue from us in this way and that is in fact … Read more

Robinson tells Cameron he’s playing a ‘powerless-inside-the-union card’ on Scotland…

I was asked yesterday why neither of the two leaders in Northern Ireland said much on the subject of Scottish independence. This may be one reason. Expressing his frustration with the lack of progress on corpo tax, the First Minister said this: “What, effectively, you are saying to the people of Scotland is that if you want more fiscal autonomy than you have at the present time, the only way to have it is through independence. That is the wrong … Read more

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. … Read more