Jordan Armstrong, TUV Assembly candidate for East Londonderry has said that the Executive’s “single idea” for the Northern Ireland economy is in trouble.
Mr Armstrong said : “After last night’s pre-election debate it is clear that the single idea which has been peddled by the Northern Ireland Executive when it comes to the economy is in trouble.
“For years we have been told that the big idea for kick starting growth is a reduction in the level of corporation tax.
“It has been claimed that when we sent Ministers jetting over the world this was the selling point they were pushing to investors.
“Now, just two weeks out from polling day, Sinn Fein/IRA are rowing back with Chris Hazzard saying a cut could only happen if it was “affordable” and that corporation tax “isn’t going to be the silver bullet that a lot of people think it is”.
“Hazzard’s comments were backed by Alex Maskey who tweeted that “Chris Hazzard makes clear that corporation tax cuts are wholly dependent on affordability and quality jobs created.”
“It is clear that there is a serious divide between the DUP and Sinn Fein when it comes to this issue. With such a short time before the election it would be hard to find a more glaring example of how Belfast Agreement devolution can never bring good government. Without agreement at the Executive a cut in the level of corporation tax cannot happen regardless of who holds the Ministry.
“It is obvious that in relation to this issue – as with so many others – the old parties promise nothing but squabbling and deadlock.
“For our part, TUV has always been clear that a dysfunctional executive should never get anywhere near these sensitive fiscal powers. Not only will the devolution of corporation tax result in a huge cut to the block grant which funds our essential services but it would break an important tie with the rest of the UK.
“A much more sensible policy would be to address the issue of high energy costs which was the key reason for some of our recent job losses.”