10 March 2015

Question Time: Finance and Personnel - Monday 9 March 2015


The Finance Minister, Mr Simon Hamilton was asked about Corporation Tax and how credit unions and mutual building societies could benefit from changes by Ms Boyle. The Minister stated that "Credit unions already benefit from special corporation tax rules that mean that, where a credit union makes a loan to its members, the related income is not subject to the tax. Those rules would not be altered by the Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill. More generally, and in order to manage the potential for artificial profit shifting, certain tradable activities, including those related to lending, leasing and certain types of insurance, are to be excluded from the Northern Ireland corporation tax rate".

Mr Allister, Mr Girvan and Mr Kinahan all had an interest in the Voluntary Exit Scheme and asked the Finance Minister when a business case, associated with the voluntary exit scheme for a 20,000 staff reduction in the public service, was produced. The Minister replied with " there is no single business case for the public sector voluntary exit scheme. Each public sector organisation will prepare individual business cases to support bids to the public sector restructuring fund. The Northern Ireland Civil Service business case for the voluntary exit scheme covers the Northern Ireland Civil Service only. That business case was developed over a period of months before being approved by the project board and senior officials in January 2015".

During the 15 minute period of Topical Questions to the Minister he was asked about the Public-sector Strike, Revenue Generation, Equal Pay Settlements and whether the failure to progress Welfare Reform will have any implications for the 2014-15 Budget,given his earlier reference to the impact on the 2015-16 Budget.