The Northern Ireland Student Assembly (NISA) has called a protest today in accordance with the Prime Minister, David Cameron’s visit to Stormont to talk in favour of a corporation tax cut in Northern Ireland.
Under European rules on state aid to regions within nations, any cut in corporation tax would result in Northern Ireland losing at least £200 million a year in subsidies from the Westminster government as a result of adopting this proposal, and maybe rather more. At a time when Northern Ireland is already likely to suffer above average cuts in government spending, with plans to close/downsize 2 A&Es in NI due to be released on the same date as Cameron’s visit. Far from solving its problems such a tax rate could only increase the isolation, uncertainty and cost of trading from Northern Ireland.
NISA is encouraging young people and trade unions to attend the protest as the promise of jobs from a corporation tax cut is only superficial, in a time when youth unemployment in NI stands at almost 20% (economic inactivity in youth is considerably higher), Stormont should be focusing on making education fairer to access through not increasing university tuition fees as a step towards the provision of free education and the setting up of job creation schemes, not trusting large businesses to put job provision above their increased profit margin.