Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group
The Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group is an independent group consisting of economists, accountants and businessmen based in Northern Ireland who wish to see a more successful and competitive NI economy, less dependent on a public sector subvention from taxpayers in GB. The group believe that the current range of grant incentives to stimulate investment are by themselves insufficient to promote a narrowing of the wide gap in productivity between NI and both GB and other small EU countries in Western Europe. Constraints set by EU state aid rules are about to make this task even more difficult, and the group take the view that reduced corporation tax is the best way to ensure a rapid acceleration in investment and productivity.
Case for Reduced Corporation Tax - Update: February 2011
The Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group welcomes Wednesday’s statements from the First and Deputy First Ministers endorsing the potential value of reduced corporation tax for Northern Ireland. The Group has been following closely the debate on a radical reduction of Northern Ireland’s corporation tax. It has also been taking stock of the situation a year on from the publication of the Study Report in which it set out the case for such a reduction. As the Executive prepares to release a clarified version of the Government’s consultation document we feel it is a good time to rehearse the major arguments in favour of reduced corporation tax and to address some of the criticisms made over the past year.
Download the documents in which the Group seeks to draw together the main threads of the argument:
1. 12 Key points on corporation tax reduction (PDF - 246KB)
2. The Case for Reduced Corporation Tax - A Supporting Update. (PDF - 270KB)
3. A recent Press Release by the Group on the significance for the Republic of its low rate of corporation tax. (PDF - 36KB)
The Case for a Reduced Rate of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland: May 2010
This report examines the costs and benefits of a reduction in the existing corporation tax rates of 28% (for large firms) and 21% (for small firms) down to 12.5%. The choice of 12.5% has the merit of being the same as in the Republic of Ireland, and hence potentially less objectionable to the European Commission which generally opposes regional reductions in corporation tax. We are not however wedded to any particular rate as long as it is sufficiently low to provide a powerful incentive for high value-added multi-national firms to seek to locate in NI.
The report is built upon an earlier study undertaken in 2009 by Corin Taylor then Research Director of the Taxpayers Alliance. We are grateful to the Taxpayers Alliance for making their material available. The current report updates the earlier one and adds substantial new sections on the legal and administrative framework for reduced corporation tax, on the impact of tax reductions on FDI and on the impact of accelerated investment on the wider NI economy. The views expressed in this report are the sole responsibility of those named above.
The Report was originally issued in February 2010 and has been revised in May 2010 to correct some small text errors and to introduce an assumption for job losses in the public sector to reflect reductions in corporation tax revenues once tax rates are reduced in NI.
Download the full report here:
The Case for a Reduced Rate of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland (PDF - 832KB)
The members of the Group are:
- Eamonn Donaghy (KPMG)
- Neil Gibson (Oxford Economics Ltd)
- Dr. Graham Gudgin (Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge)
- Michael Hall (Ernst and Young)
- Dr Victor Hewitt (Director ERINI)
- Sir George Quigley (Board member, Bombardier-Shorts)
- Michael Smyth (University of Ulster)