Northern Ireland news

Consultation on more local tax powers launched

Consultation on increasing local tax powers launched
John Breslin

A consultation on increasing local control over taxation is under way as Finance Minister Conor Murphy argued the sustainability of public services are threatened by cuts by London.

According to the Independent Fiscal Commission NI, reporting figures from the Office of National Statistics, the total tax receipts gathered from individuals and businesses in the year to the end of March 2020 was £15.6bn.

The Executive controls most of the spending on public services, almost £9 in every £10 of ‘identifiable’ public spending.

But the commission noted in its recent report ‘More Fiscal Devolution for Northern Ireland’: “Other than rates on businesses and households it has no real substantive powers to vary taxes, and raises less than £1 in every £20 of Northern Ireland tax revenue.”

Finance Minister Murphy, launching the consultation period to run until November 29th, said the Executive “is hugely dependent on a block grant which is being squeezed by Westminster, threatening the sustainability of our public services”.

“The Scottish and Welsh Governments have more control over their tax affairs and it is time for a mature discussion on the potential benefits of greater control over taxation here,” the minister said.

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