Saturday 24 March 2018

Brendan Keenan: Profits tax change may be the only hope for Northern economy

Public spending accounts for 70pc of Northern Ireland's economy

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

CHEAP drink in the North, low taxes in the South. The Republic may lament the fall in sterling, which makes goods cost less in that region of the UK up the road. But there, they have long lamented the existence of low corporation tax down the road in that sovereign state called Ireland.

At least, many of their economists and business leaders always have. They argue that their inability to match the Republic's low corporation tax has done more damage to Northern Ireland's economy than the inability to devalue has done to that of the South.

That inability dates only from the formation of the euro in 1999. But it seems a fair period for comparisons since, before that, the Troubles would have swamped most, if not all, of the advantages of a lower profits tax in attracting foreign investment to the North.

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