Representation with others Taxation – Fiscal Powers for NI?

In the talks to restore power sharing, much focus has been placed on the need to reform the petition of concern (“PoC”). In the wake of financial incompetence and questions over the entire structure of the Stormont apparatus, the PoC was invoked over 100 times from 2011-15 to simply block legislative and procedural progress at the assembly. There was even an invocation of the PoC to avoid ministerial scrutiny, something unheard of in any other modern democracy. The PoC has …

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“Now, it’s probably going to be a difficult argument with the Treasury at the minute…”

Interesting, short, snippet from the BBC on that perennial favourite, and long promised, corporation tax cut.  From the BBC’s news in brief. Northern Ireland’s corporation tax rate is due to drop to 12.5% from April 2018 – but the RHI crisis calls this into question. “That legislation can only happen if the Treasury gives the green light,” said BBC News NI Economics Editor John Campbell. “What’s called a commencement’s clause. “Basically, the Treasury has to say, “we’ve looked at Northern …

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Kicking the [financial] can down the road, again.

According to the BBC’s Mark Devenport, The Treasury has been asked to supply Stormont with a one-off loan of between £100m and £150m to ease its budgetary crisis, the BBC understands. According to the reports, the proposal was discussed with the UK Treasury by the NI First Minister, the DUP leader Peter Robinson, and the NI Finance Minister, the DUP’s Simon Hamilton.  Whether that occurred before, or after, yesterday’s ‘special’ meeting of the NI Executive isn’t entirely clear.  From the …

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Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, otherwise the only reaction is likely to be a rolling of eyes by Jonathan Taylor, Vice-President of the EIB, formerly Director General for Financial Services at …

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G8 Summit: “Gardaí will place a particular emphasis on securing the Border…”

According to the Northern Ireland Finance Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, the NI Executive will face a bill of £6 million from the £60 million total cost of hosting the G8 Summit in Fermanagh on June 17th and 18th  – the UK Treasury is expected to provide the rest of the funds required.  But, as the Irish Times reports, the neighbouring state on the island is also making preparations. Some 900 gardaí will be in the region for the period covering the …

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#CATJRF: Opportunity for creating permissive rules for Northern Ireland?

Whilst I’m being single-minded about this, one of the issues identified by Maurice Kinkead is why are civil servants so cautious about handing over assets? Now bear in mind that Treasury rules don’t directly apply to the NICS, but these HMT guidelines from 2008 go some way to explain why in England and Scotland the main players in transferring assets to communities are at council level, rather than ministerial departments (those that may also reflect a difference in value and …

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Fiscal apocalypse: Northern Ireland spending exceeds tax by 39.3% of its GDP

There’s been a lot of complaining, mostly though not entirely from the SDLP, and certainly the unions, that OFMdFM ought to be fighting a better fight with Whitehall, and in particular HM Treasury… Well, according to Douglas McWilliams (H/T reader Stuart), here’s what Sammy Wilson is up against when it gets close and personal with Mr Osborne’s traditionalist team: In the UK there is considerable variance in tax receipts as a share of GDP between regions – from Northern Ireland where …

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“We are fully aware of the urgency of this matter…”

The BBC reports on a meeting today chaired by Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, and attended by NI First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, Northern Ireland Minister Hugo Swire and Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury. The topic?  The troubled Presbyterian Mutual Society. From the NI Secretary of State’s statement Speaking after the meeting, Mr Paterson said: “Both before and since the General Election, the Prime Minister and I have …

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