Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has urged movement on the devolution of powers to vary Corporation Tax.
The East Antrim MLA, who also represents his Party on the Finance committee, was speaking following a report from the Asda Income tracker that Northern Ireland families are being hardest hit in terms of spending power.
“The information revealed by the latest Asda Income Tracker makes stark reading for Northern Ireland plc and serves to highlight the gulf between Northern Ireland and other regions of the UK.
The average UK family’s spending power fell by £10 a week in March 2012, leaving the average family with £144 of weekly disposable income, 6.5 per cent down from the same time last year.
Northern Ireland families were hardest hit, recording a disposable income of only £83, and our decrease was seven per cent compared to last year’s figures for Northern Ireland. The report states that “This is one of the steepest erosions in disposable incomes across the UK – reflecting the fact that families here spend more as a share of income on essential items, leaving them particularly exposed to recent price increases whether at the pumps or in maintaining their homes.”
It is obvious that something dramatic is required.
The Ulster Unionist Party has long made the case for the transfer of powers to Northern Ireland to vary Corporation Tax. We are convinced that a lower Corporation Tax would make Northern Ireland a more attractive place in which to invest and do business, create the jobs which we so desperately need and break this cycle of lower disposable income.
This will help us rebalance the local economy and create the private sector jobs we so greatly need and we must move forward without delay.”