Following today's launch of a report on corporation tax by Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry, NUS-USI President Adrianne Peltz asked how the tax cut would be funded and which public services might be lost to pay for the cut. She said that training and education are far more important to Northern Ireland’s economy than cutting corporation tax.
Adrianne Peltz said: “On the surface it appears promising that we might be able to create an extra 58,000 jobs by 2030; however, we need to look at the issue of varying the corporation tax rate in a holistic manner.
“I believe that education, training and skills are far more important as regards growing our economy. We need to be well placed to meet the skill needs of potential investors. If the corporation tax gamble doesn’t pay off it could end up being a massive drain on Northern Ireland’s public purse, with very little to show for it.
“The Executive needs to take into account the ramifications to the block grant of this move. Which public services stand to suffer to help balance the books?
“The massive financial cost to Northern Ireland of such a cut means that there would be significantly less money available for public services here. We could be facing a £400m hole in our budget due to it. I would be particularly concerned that students may be seen as an easy target in any bid by the Executive to fund a cut in corporation tax. I am very worried that those who depend the most on public services could be hit the hardest by this move.”