Cutting Northern Ireland’s corporation tax would damage public services while making little difference to potential investors in the province, the Green Party is warning.
Party leader Steven Agnew says such a measure at this time would be “wholly irresponsible” and “unfair,” taking £300 million out of the Executive’s budget that would be better spent on health, education and job creation through a Green New Deal.
Meanwhile, accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers has stated that a corporation tax cut ranks only 17th on the list of concerns for companies considering investing in Northern Ireland.
Steven Agnew said: “Thousands of people will be marching this week against cuts in public spending and the job losses that will ultimately result from this. We should be doing all we can to minimise cuts not looking for new ways to introduce further cuts.
“£300 million could employ around 15,000 people whereas cutting corporation tax guarantees no jobs whatsoever. If we take £300 million out of our budget there will inevitably be job losses in the public sector. This would also have a knock on effect in the private sector which relies on government contracts and spending by public sector employees.”
Mr Agnew urged the electorate to vote for representatives who will protect jobs and services while investing in the future by modernising and greening the Northern Ireland economy.
Green Party Assembly candidates will be standing in South and East Belfast on May 5, when the party will also contest four Belfast City Council and two Castlereagh Borough Council constituencies.