‘Assembly should have control of Fiscal Powers’ – Murphy

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Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Sinn Féin’s Economy spokesperson Conor Murphy MP MLA took to the stage at the party’s Ard Fheis in Killarney over the weekend to speak to delegates on Sinn Féin’s All Ireland economic recovery plan. Murphy said, “Duplication and overlapping expenditure on the island of Ireland is wasteful and expensive within both jurisdictions. Actions could be taken immediately to develop a joint approach to addressing the economic downturn by examining areas where savings can be made.” Murphy also spoke of the British government’s ‘repeated failure’ to disclose the value of taxes raised in the North, which go directly to the British Exchequer. “We are also regularly reminded about the North’s dependence on subsidy from the British government and this is used as a political reason against building an all-Ireland economy.” “But what is never revealed is the amount of tax revenues collected through VAT, Income Tax, Custom &Excise and a myriad of other taxes which go directly to the British Exchequer. One of the effects of partition has been to create the impression that we are irretrievably dependent on subsidy from the British Exchequer.” Murphy also challenged the Assembly Finance Minister to request a revenue/expenditure report from the British Government saying, “I believe it would be very interesting and illuminating if we had properly accounted figures telling us how much revenue is actually generated in the North for the British Exchequer against the finance returned in the form of the Block grant. “It would be beneficial to the debate around the transfer of fiscal powers and the building of an all-Ireland economy if we were in possession of all the facts concerning tax revenue including the profits of British based chain stores, oil companies etc generated here but taxed as profits declared by the parent companies located in Britain.” Mr Murphy concluded his key note address by demanding that fiscal powers be transferred immediately from ‘nameless bureaucrats’ in London to locally accountable politicians in the Assembly, “It is time that in the North we take fiscal powers away from London and invest them in the Executive and for Dublin to take economic decisions based on its responsibilities to the Irish people and not in the interests of faceless, nameless international gamblers in the form of bondholders.” He added, “If we are to resuscitate the Irish economy – on the whole island – we must take control of our own economic destiny.”
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