Northern Ireland

House of Lords passes NI Corporation tax bill

Legislation Image copyright PA
Image caption The Northern Ireland executive wants to be able to match the tax rate in the Republic of Ireland

New legislation to devolve corporation tax to Northern Ireland has been passed by the House of Lords, marking another stage in its process to become law.

Corporation tax is the tax that companies pay on their profits. The current UK rate is 21% whereas in the Republic of Ireland firms pay 12.5%.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said it was "fitting" that it happened on St Patrick's Day.

But she warned Stormont must reform welfare before the bill can progress.

A bill to allow Northern Ireland to set its own rate of corporation tax, in a bid to compete for investment with the Republic of Ireland, was a key part of the Stormont House Agreement.

The legislation to allow corporation tax powers to be devolved to Stormont was published in January.

The government aims to pass the law before May's general election.

It should allow Northern Ireland to set its own rate from April 2017.

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