The minister of finance in Northern Ireland, Simon Hamilton MLA, announced on Monday in Belfast that the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, will agree to the devolution of power to control corporate tax rates to Stormont after the Scottish independence referendum.
As the Prime Minister had previously opposed the devolution of this tax, this is yet again another U-turn by the government in London.
It can only have been made on the basis that Scotland will also control its own rate of corporate tax, either as an independent country or as a result of further devolved powers after the referendum.
Previously, the former First Minister stated that if Northern Ireland had control over this tax rate then Wales would want the same powers the next morning.
So we would end up with four different corporate tax rates –one each for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
Companies would enjoy “moving their brass plates” within these four jurisdictions to take advantage of the variety of tax rates. Can this possibly be the objective of the Conservatives in London?