Irish Association

Northern Ireland Needs Corporation Tax Powers

16th October 2010

Brian Keegan, Director of Taxation at Chartered Accountants Ireland, has suggested to the annual conference of the Irish Association in Newry that the time may have come to take the first steps in devolving the power to set a separate corporation tax rate for Northern Ireland.

An acknowledged tax authority he pointed out that as an all Island organisation, Chartered Accountants Ireland had first hand experience of the benefits of a low rate of Corporation Tax in attracting Foreign Direct Investment, and the employment that it generates.

Mr Keegan told the gathering of politicians, business people and Association members that businesses see tax as a cost to be managed. He said "A low rate of corporation tax attracts business to locate in the same manner as low labour or energy or distribution costs."

Mr Keegan also pointed out that a low tax rate regime is not the same as a low tax regime, and that low rates in fact make the tax system more efficient. "I accept that there may be political and social challenges associated with introducing a separate rate for Northern Ireland but the benefits are greater economic activity and more jobs." Said Mr Keegan.

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