News | Ritchie: Treasury must stop withholding Corporation Tax detail

Ritchie: Treasury must stop withholding Corporation Tax detail

SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said that detail on George Osborne’s commitment to the devolution of Corporation Tax following a successful outcome to the current round of All Party Talks remains short and unsatisfactory.

Ms Ritchie was speaking after posing questions during Northern Ireland Questions at Westminster. She said:

“Once again the British Government response to questions on the devolution of Corporation Tax has been light on detail. For months the Treasury passed the buck on the question and when the Chancellor finally had the opportunity to give certainty, he again chose to create ambiguity by linking the power to the outcome of the Talks.

“At Northern Ireland Questions I attempted to seek clarity from the NIO on the cost of devolving Corporation Tax varying powers and any further implementation coasts. Unfortunately once again the Minister chose to remain vague and ambiguous. He said that Corporation Tax raised ‘somewhere in the region of £400 million’ and that ‘we are talking about that sort of figure’. Those are not the words of a Minister with a coherent plan.

“Now today we hear former Secretary of State Owen Patterson claim that the Treasury has a detailed plan and even draft legislation for implementing Corporation Tax powers that could be tabled next week. Why, then, is this information being withheld from local politicians while we seek a comprehensive agreement that would include devolving these new powers?

“It’s important that any deal on Corporation Tax is fully reviewed and scrutinised, allowing us to come to a considered conclusion on what is in the best interests of people and businesses in the North. So far the Treasury has been found wanting.”


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