Should the fiscal powers of the Northern Ireland Assembly be enhanced? Regional Studies. Northern Ireland has been characterized by an inability to narrow the persistent economic gap relative to Britain. Some commentators have suggested that regional corporation tax variation may be the ‘game changer’ in closing this gap. This paper draws on a range of studies that help one better understand the historical and institutional context. However, the analysis of tax variation is broader than this. Consideration is given as to which taxes might be the most suitable candidates for devolution. While greater tax variations could certainly complement an emphasis on increased competitiveness aimed at improving economic outcomes, they are no substitute for such a focus. As is often the case in institutional and economic development, issues of sequencing and policy capacity are salient.
- Devolution, Institutions, Fiscal Decentralisation, Competitiveness, Economic Development, Northern Ireland