#G8, transparency, tax and “the soft bigotry of low expectations…”

On tax, and transparency, here’s the final communique from Lough Erne. Ten “shoulds”, all of them ‘good things’, based on self reporting. Ah, “the soft bigotry of low expectations” says Joseph Cotteril. No imminent world government then? As The Economist noted last week: …offshore centres such as the Cayman Islands and Jersey, corporate service providers have had to collect ownership information since they first came under international pressure a decade ago, though they are sometimes slow or unwilling to turn it over …

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Household Charge: Republic’s government faces into most difficult period of term, so far

I was in conversation with a news anchor from France 24 François Picard the other day, and he asked me what news I had from my part of the world… I said, plainly enough, the same story we get every summer for three months… He replied in heart beat, ‘ah, the marching season‘… However in the other part of the island things these days are much more epic and more serious… we have crisis in part because our politicians don’t …

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Corporation Tax set to be reduced?

The BBC is reporting that Northern Ireland will be allowed to cut its rate of corporation tax next year. According to Andrew Neil on the Politics Show: “…the politics show has learned from senior treasury sources that the London government is indeed minded to grant Northern Ireland its wish,” he said. “Although it might not be allowed to go as low as 12.5%, since Ireland is under EU pressure to raise it, any decent cut would make Northern Ireland more …

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“Clearly something has got to give…”

Unsurprising economic illiteracy aside, the political posturing in the draft Northern Ireland budget re-allocation comes at a cost.  As Liam Clarke points out in the News Letter In October 2007 it was hoped, not unreasonably, that the shortfall could be met by selling government land and buildings into the booming property market. Stormont was like a family funding an extension by remortgaging its house, but unfortunately the bottom fell out of the property market almost as soon as the plan …

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From the Scotland Bill to Scottish independence…

The inclusion of the Scotland Act amongst the UK Government’s 22 Bills has pushed Scotland’s place in Britain back up the discussion list in many quarters. Personally I am surprised that the Conservatives have moved so quickly on the issue when it potentially poses such a risk for the continuation of the union, particularly given that David Cameron claims to have the Union Jack stamped onto his insides like a stick of rock. For me, the implementation of the Calman …

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