Northern Ireland - a step closer to tax havenry
"A UK parliamentary committee is to hold an inquiry into the business tax regime in Northern Ireland with a view to recommending how Ulster can compete more effectively with its low-tax neighbour to the south. As part of the UK, companies in Northern Ireland currently pay a headline corporate tax rate of 28%. But firms pay corporate tax of just 12.5% over the border in the Republic of Ireland, and this disparity in rates is seen as major barrier to growth for the North. The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is set to examine what can be done to boost Northern Ireland's competitiveness and discourage a steady stream of companies moving across the border."
This is being driven by the City of London, as part of its efforts to boost the power of its spiderweb of offshore jurisdictions around the world that channel business in its direction. It is another disgrace. Richard Murphy recently wrote in The Guardian about this, and explained why this is such an awful choice, not just for the world at large, but for Northern Ireland too. As Lord Oakeshott put it:
When talking of the low tax rates offered in the Republic he called Dublin "Liechtenstein on the Liffey", adding: "If you set out to attract mobile money from around the world, you run much bigger risks when things go wrong."
Indeed. The Irish Republic is one of the worst affected by the global crisis.
As if all this were not bad enough, the City is hoping to get Scotland into the race too. And then there is the Ghana/Barclays horror. And . . .