‘Corporation Tax should not be bargaining chip in Talks process’ – Bradley

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Friday, December 5th, 2014
SDLP finance spokesperson Dominic Bradley has expressed disappointment on conditions placed by George Osbourne on the devolution of corporation tax powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley

Speaking to Newry Times, Bradley said, “On behalf of the SDLP I want to express my disappointment that corporation tax powers have been withheld from the Northern Ireland Assembly as a bargaining chip in the talks process. “While it is good the Chancellor has expressed a desire to bring forward the appropriate legislation before the end of this parliament; it is dependent on certain elements of All Party Talks at Stormont. “That should not be the case. Devolution of these powers are a separate issue and should be treated as such and not as a British Government bargaining chip in the talks process to bolster the DUP,” he insisted. “Whilst we realise that new powers to control corporation tax are no silver bullet that will instantly transform the Northern Ireland economy, but, if used prudently, we believe these powers can give the badly needed boost to local businesses and to foreign direct investment. “It is disheartening that the Chancellor has turned this tool for economic growth into a bargaining chip in the talks. We expect the devolution of corporation tax powers will lead to significant increases in job creation and will help to rebalance the local economy. “However, the schedule for introducing the changes needs to be carefully thought-out in relation to the impact to public sector spending. We must ensure that we get the maximum benefit in every way and front-line services are not diminished in any way. Bradley added, “This issue needs to be a win-win for us and not the Treasury. Just as the SDLP is fully engaged in the current talks process and want to see a positive and lasting solution to the issues involved, the SDLP will be fully engaged in the debate around the preparation for and introduction of these powers.”
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