In a post Brexit world (if the Unionists are serious about delivering for Wales) there is no real reason why Wales could not (with the appropriately devolved powers) cut Corporation Tax to bring businesses to Wales and boost wages. Plaid Cymru AM for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, Adam Price (speaking on the BBC’s Wales Report on Tuesday night (16th May) said that Brexit offers opportunities for Wales such as introducing “variable tax rates across the UK” including Corporation Tax and VAT.
The Party of Wales has long advocated transferring responsibility over taxation from Westminster to Wales, ensuring taxes paid by people and businesses in Wales stay in Wales. Plaid Cymru has previously called for Corporation Tax to be linked to the size of the economy, meaning poorer areas would benefit from lower taxation whilst richer areas would pay more.
This would certainly be a fairer and more sensible system, which could incentivise businesses to invest in areas where investment is most needed, and could lead to increased wages across Wales. Brexit naturally offers some opportunities as well as some threats our economy.
Adam, Price called on politicians to take advantages of the opportunities, suggesting Wales could set lower rates of Corporation Tax than the rest of the UK, giving the country a “competitive advantage” to attract businesses to Wales and to help existing businesses grow.
Plaid Cymru’s finance spokesperson, Adam Price, said:
“Politicians from all parties must look to the future and get on with making sure we get the best Brexit possible for our country. There are specific risks to our economy with our manufacturing and agriculture sectors being heavily driven by our exports and particularly to the EU, and we must do everything we can to defend those sectors, but there are also some opportunities which are not often talked about.
“In coming out of the EU, for example, we now have the ability to set varying rates for different taxes in the different countries that make up the UK. We could have a lower VAT rate to help our tourism sector and our construction sectors for example. We could also do the same for Corporation Tax and ensure business taxation reflects the lower levels of economic strength in the different UK countries.
“If we cut Corporation Tax in Wales it would give our country a competitive advantage which would draw businesses to Wales and help those who are here already to grow, to employ more people and to offer higher wages for their employees.
“With one rate of Corporation Tax for the whole of the British State including every single country within it, there is no incentive for businesses to go anywhere but the richest areas like London and the south east of England. If we want people in Wales to be paid higher wages, to be offered better mortgages and for our Welsh Government to have more money to invest in our health service for example, we have to make Wales attractive to businesses.
“We have to make the most of every opportunity that Brexit offers and make sure we defend Wales from every threat. The only party that is fit and able to do that is Plaid Cymru.”