Local tax raising powers could be the making of Stormont

A letter from Thomas Stewart:

Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:40 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 8:34 pm
Voting for Stormont assembly members who will be taking money out of people’s pockets will concentrate voters' minds

Your Morning View (‘Stormont needs a Fiscal Council but not a Fiscal Commission,’ March 8, see link below) casts doubt on local tax raising powers for MLAs given the questionable responsibility of Stormont to spend lavish UK funding.

I sometimes think local tax raising powers might be the making of Northern Ireland politics and Esmond Birnie seems to think so too (‘Stormont might be more careful with cash if it had to raise it’, March 9, see link below).

After all, nothing will concentrate the minds of voters more than voting for politicians who will literally be taking money out of their pockets.

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In turn politicians will be forced to justify in detail difficult economic decisions instead of fobbing it off on London.

Instead of elections being solely green and orange, social issues could creep into voters minds in a bigger way with commonality between working class unionists and nationalists and also commonality between the unionist and Catholic middle class.

Thomas Stewart, Belfast BT4

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