A Fresh Start




Statements released from the Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs, following the reaching of a new agreement on powersharing.

It follows ten weeks of discussions.

RTÉ reports:

The key elements addressed include paramilitarism, welfare and finance. The document says the agreement will help to give the Executive a sustainable and stable budget, with about £500m of additional financial support from the UK government.

This money will be used to support programmes including the removal of peace walls.

The deal will also “pave the way of the devolution of corporation tax powers, which is expected to lead to a reduction to 12.5% by April 2018”.


Stormont leaders reach deal after months of talks (RTE)

Pics via David Young

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32 thoughts on “A Fresh Start

  1. Rachel

    The Republic should be upping corporation tax to at least 25%. NI shouldn’t make the same mistake as us.

      1. Rachel

        Low corporation tax doesn’t create jobs in any meaningful way, it just creates low-paid jobs that can up and go whenever the corporations feel like it. Low corporation tax is a sign of an immature economy. We’ve got to move beyond being a tax haven.

        1. ReproBertie

          True, all those IT jobs paying barely minimum wage for example. Nobody could call them meaningful. Of course doubling the corporation tax won’t bother the companies providing these jobs (in a meaningless way) and they’ll stay here and keep providing those jobs, right?

          1. Rachel

            No, they’ll leave this tax haven once we have a proper 25% corporation tax, or once the industrial cycle is over. Dell is the perfect example.

          2. ReproBertie

            So your plan for Ireland to demonstrate how grown up an economy she has is to make a bunch of people unemployed and you encourage NI to skip the whole having jobs stage and go straight to the unemployment.

          3. Rachel

            The Nordic countries, France, Germany etc. all have far higher corporation tax rates than us, and they function much better. We’ll never mature our economy if we insist on being the EU’s Cayman Island.

          4. ReproBertie

            So it is your plan! Increase the unemployemnt, drive away the US multinationals and then what? Something magical happens and we all have meaningful jobs and “function much better”?

            Are you a professional idiot or is it just a hobby?

          5. Rachel

            US multinational jobs are impermanent. The domestic economy needs to be strengthened through domestic investment. More Irish capital currently operates in the US, than US capital operates here, utterly symptomatic of an immature economy, one prone to bubbles in all sectors of the economy.

          6. ReproBertie

            They may not be permanent jobs but they are jobs. When similar jobs are being provided by Irish companies we can discuss the corporation tax as part of a review of national tax strategy. Until then, it ain’t broke.

      1. Rachel

        Low corporation tax doesn’t create jobs in any meaningful way, it just creates low-paid jobs that can up and go whenever the corporations feel like it. Low corporation tax is a sign of an immature economy. We’ve got to move beyond being a tax haven.

        1. Neilo

          Hi Rachel, does the Socialist Party only give you so many talking points before you get stuck in a loop? *Yes, yes I’m well aware of my own blindspots and shortcomings*

          1. Rachel

            Yes, because everyone who wants higher corporation taxes is a rip-roaring Socialist, such as Krugman and Picketty, those commie bastards.

        2. Neilo

          @ReproBertie: there are elected officials in this country who will tell you with a straight face that our bounteous natural resources i.e. the fish quota will provide all the jobs could possibly ever need once we’ve driven out those filthy furriners

          1. ahjayzis

            What is with this article of faith you’re spouting?

            Where’s the evidence asking companies to pay more than a token amount of tax would drive them out? Where are they going to go? Our CT rate is less than half the weighted average of the European Union – we’re not just being competitive about it, we’re being bargain basement about it.

            I’m not advocating raising them to 20 percent tomorrow, but we need a strategy for getting Ireland away from a visionless ‘low introductory offer’ strategy of attracting FDI, for getting Ireland to reduce it’s dependence on wayward foreign companies and develop real domestic companies that will stand the test of time.

            Is it not obvious it’s a deeply insecure thing to entrust our futures to? Do you think we’ll get away with it forever with Europe breathing down our necks for walking and talking like an offshore tax haven?

            At the very least we need a plan B, we’re not an underdeveloped backwater anymore, we don’t need the tax regime of one.

      2. Neilo

        Also, at least one Nordic country has bottomless reservoirs of oil (maybe a little gas, too) while Germany isn’t short of valuable stuff hewn from the rock and a solid industrial base to go with it. Small, open economies like ours need to prime the pump with incentives.

        1. Rachel

          Most German power is now generated from renewals, so that argument doesn’t stack up. Germany’s industrial base has diminished significantly too in the last generation in favor of the tertiary sector, so again, less relevant now than ever. Norway does have oil, but it also owns its oil, unlike here, where we didn’t nationalize it and will make next to nothing from the Corrib field (which, again, is typical of immature economies that allow others to exploit their natural resources).

        2. ahjayzis

          A low CT rate is a ridiculously oversized, unwieldy tool to do that though.

          Why not breaks for research,patenting things in Ireland, basing the creative parts of multinationals here, breaks for social responsibility. There has to be a more 21st century way of competing than just wildly undercutting our neighbours.

          The average person on an average wage pays twice what Google pays in tax in this country – on it’s headline rate, we both know they actualyl fork over far,far less. They cut the blind pension and didn’t ask any multinational company based here to row in.

          Our universities are running into the ground for lack of funding and our health service is in the crapper, our housing situation is dire – at what point does a low CT rate become less important when you can’t house your staff, ensure their health, access high quality graduates?

          1. Kieran NYC

            That’s why the government announced the ‘patent box’ scheme, to move away from the ‘double Irish’ and loopholes, etc.

    1. Neilo

      You know, we really shouldn’t, Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s but don’t gorge governments on cash: once border security and social provision are covered, they tend to go MAAAADD!

  2. SureTing

    One can only but salute the sheer gall of the NI politicians, their bloody minded commitment to fleecing the British taxpayer through endless, mind numbing internal bickering and murky threats of a return to violence, Cameron eventually just giving them cash so they’ll leave him be.

    1. Neilo

      Leave ’em up! The fortifications in Israel will predecease those in Belfast *Kisses fingers, pours Manischewitz over shrine to Moshe Dayan*

  3. Truth in the News

    No word about a border poll, how come the Unionists are not looking for one
    or would the result be a bit too close for comfort.

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