Peter Robinson on NI’s amended welfare reform package

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I’m in a rush this afternoon, so here’s Peter Robinson’s interview last night on the odd impasse over the package of Welfare Reforms… (IMHO, he might have been better advised to stick mostly to the subject rather than pulling in distractions over nuclear options…)

  • OneNI

    Compare and contrast. NI Executive fails to make decision on welfare. Conservative lead govt at Westminster
    makes changes to personal allowances mean from weekend 676,000 NI people will be paying less tax with 83,000 taken out of income tax altogether
    Which is these institutions is of most relevance to Northern Ireland people?
    NI based parties simply refuse to make tough decisions

  • Morpheus

    Unbelievable. “If we don’t get our way we are going to throw all the toys out of the pram.” And this sniveling wreak of a man is our First Minister???

    We have seen the DUP’s armageddon impact assessment on the fines. Where is their impact assessment for the money leaving the Northern Ireland economy which is somewhere between £450,000,000 (DSD) and £750,000,000 (NICVA) PER YEAR.

    We keep hearing about a billion pounds over 5 years well if we believe the DSD then £2,225,000,000 will leave our economy. If we believe NICVA then £3,750,000,000 will leave our economy. How many jobs will be lost? How many more people will go on benefits? How much will our social security payments increase? How much income from taxes will be lost?

    What impact will it have if we actually spend our entitlement instead of handing back hundreds of millions?
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/hundreds-of-millions-lost-as-stormont-underspends-29669952.html

    I am not against cuts, they are absolutely essential considering the new figures released showing that Northern Ireland PLC spends £9,600m more than it earns but the cuts have to be about trimming the fat rather than just blindly sticking the knife in and bollix to the consequences. And we have clearly not trimmed the fat and we are not being smart with the money, see the link above.

    Benefit fraud in NI is tiny – the DSD confirmed that the total level of benefit fraud estimated to be in the system in 2011 was £19m. Social security payments in that time totaled £7,954m so 0.24% was the estimated level of fraud. Although £19m is still £19m too much that leaves 99% of all payments not fraudulent. So to me hitting those who can least afford it is not the way to go, especially when there are cases like this when big business walked away from a £4,800m tax liability
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/oct/22/vodafone-tax-case-leaves-sour-taste

    If the objective is to stop welfare cheats then by all means invest in making the system more robust so only those who are entitled to welfare get welfare – but as the figures above shows the saving there is negligible.

    But if the overall objective is to get people off welfare completely then they need to have somewhere for them to go but there are 2681 jobs in Recruitment NI today and the last estimates concerning the unemployed was 58,700. Where do the rest people go?

    Sticking the government’s hand even deeper into the pockets of those who have little to give is lunacy

  • Old Mortality

    Morpheus
    I don’t think the object of welfare reform is to reduce fraud. It is designed to make formal employment a more attractive option and that is difficult to achieve if benefit payments are not curbed.
    It is truly shocking that there is not a single politician in the Assembly who is willing to commend welfare reform rather than see it as an unavoidable misfortune.
    Rather than make the facile comparison between notified vacancies (always understating the true level) and the unemployed total, you might ask yourself why so many migrant workers are able to find productive employment in the private sector, even in districts which are commonly regarded as unemployment blackspots.
    There is no part of the UK that needs welfare reform more urgently than NI.

  • pauluk

    Marty can’t do anything without Jerry. Simple as that. Marty can take all the umbrage he likes but Jerry’s the negative influence here.

  • Morpheus

    OM

    I am well aware that welfare reform is not to combat fraud – even though people waffle on about the scourge of benefit cheats – because as I said the DSD’s own figures show that fraud is relatively small, still way too high, but miniscule when taken as a percentage of total expenditure on social security. 99% of payments are not fraudulent.

    No one is suggesting that we pay higher amounts for the likes of JSA here than the rest of the UK so they obviously intend to make the savings to reduce the overall social security bill by getting people off benefits and back to work but what work? Where are the 58,700 to go? Most of our large businesses are gone and companies like Paypal would rather set up shop 60 miles down the road in Dundalk rather than bringing 1000 jobs to Belfast
    http://www.idaireland.com/news-media/press-releases/paypal-announces-1-000-du/

    Intel invested invested This investment brings the overall capital investment to a total of $12.5 billion in Intel Ireland over the past 25 years – that’s what we are up against.

    Taking £450m-£750m out of our economy will lead to even more unemployed as all that money is taken out of NI tills leading to an increase in social security payments and a reduction in our take from PAYE/VAT etc. It’s sheer lunacy.

    And what of the £300m given back to Westminster in 2010/2011 due to underspend? Do you think we are really spending our money wisely? We need cuts, that is obvious but they have to be about trimming the fat, not blindly cutting off great big chunks.

  • GEF

    Anyone knowwhat percentage of the population in NI who is not receiving some form of welfare, including housing and child benefit?

  • Morpheus

    Wow, don’t know what happened there. That should read
    “Intel have invested $12.5 billion in Intel Ireland over the past 25 years – that’s what we are up against.”

  • Barnshee

    NI is a client region of the UK It is “subvented” to maintain a population level and standards of living otherwise unsupportable by the tax base in NI. The subvention is being reduced (hopefully to zero over time)

    The locals have elected a (form of) government to dole (no pun intended) out the money from London. They flotsam in Stormont are now struggling to avoid blame for the inevitable cuts in budgets. Whatever the result you can bet your bottom dollar that the bums on seats in Stormont and Local authorities will do OK

    The irony of “republicans” begging for MORE money seems to have escaped the locals

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Keeping things simple allows one to better understand what Peter Robinson and the DUP and their supporters are doing in the offices to which they have been elected. Quite why anyone would wish to elect them to serve there ever again is something which you can now consider after reading the following which is essentially what they are agreeing to and proposing to inflict upon the population and their popular vote.

    Let us imagine that to supply NI with the services that the people need and expect and have been receiving costs £1000,000,000 pa [The real cost is ?????? … well, I do not know but somebody is bound to have an accurate figure somewhere, so please share it …. although for this enlightening exercise does it not really matter at all] The services are what they, be they good or be they bad, but they are delivered at that cost/for that price.

    Next year [2015], will those same services that the people need and expect and have been receiving be expected and delivered/priced at £800,000,000 [because of what Westminster and the Parliamentary Coalition Government and the Cabinet Office in London have decided]

    The year after that [2016], the necessary services that today cost £1000,000,000, are expected and agreed by Peter Robinson and the DUP and their supporters in the Parliamentary Coalition Government and Tory party to be delivered for £600,000,000.

    The year after that [2017], the necessary services that today cost £1000,000,000, are expected and agreed by Peter Robinson and the DUP and their supporters in the Parliamentary Coalition Government and Tory party to be delivered for £400,000,000.

    The year after that [2018], the necessary services that today cost £1000,000,000, are expected and agreed by Peter Robinson and the DUP and their supporters in the Parliamentary Coalition Government and Tory party to be delivered for £200,000,000.

    And the year after that [2019] the necessary services that today cost £1000,000,000, are expected and agreed by Peter Robinson and the DUP and their supporters in the Parliamentary Coalition Government and Tory party to be delivered for zero.

    And yous vote these tools into government and pay them handsomely with all expenses paid for their efforts on your behalf.

    Are yous all mad eejits or just plain stupid and easily led up the garden path for serial abuse? :-)

    And if you don’t believe any of that, ask your local elected representative to explain it to you in simpler terms and reveal where the magic to supply what the country needs at a cost of nothing, comes from and who and/or what supplies it? Keep the questions simple so that they cannot get confused and seek to not answer with the posing of any number of other questions which they might have a ready answer for, which is an old tired media trick they are always pulling and being schooled in to avoid you finding out the truth of anything.

    Revolutions and campaigns of mass civil disobedience have started over less in the past surely, and if they haven’t, then they most probably will in the near future if wisdom and common sense does not prevail and take over from such madness.

  • Gopher

    The opening post is correct Peter should have stayed on the subject rather than discussing options. Peter clouded the issue which is pretty simple. The assembly has failed Naomi summed it up in the news tonight. The system of government we have just don’t work it can’t make any decision because each faction is tied to the lowest common denominator whether it is the Orange Order, Fundies, Gerry Adams election prospects in the South or parties beholden to unemployment hot spots ability to buy fags, scratch cards, booze drugs, (prescription or otherwise) or stand in the bookies all day.

    If Peter what’s to go nuclear it should be on government reform.

  • Banjaxed

    Robinson go nuclear?
    He wouldn’t have the puff of a damp squib.
    How many times does he have to squeal, stamp and glare before he has the cojones to actually DO something positive? Like, for instance, effing off back to Florida for good.
    A pathetic excuse for a man and a complete failure as a leader.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    He’s a coward: he’ll never walk away from this gravy train.

    He’s now threatened to pull the plug over the devolution of policing, the badge on prison uniforms, “on the runs”, and now welfare cuts: what next? Will it be Ardoyne? Could be a long summer for the people of north Belfast.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    Postscript: Robinson’s reaction when Carruthers – an exceptional journalist, may I add, and very much wasting his talents in this basket-case of a “province” – raised the issue of voter apathy was striking.

    He could not hide his contempt for the electorate. We’re very much getting back to pre-January 2010 Robinson here. Through a combination of hubris and Shinner outmanoeuvring, I can’t see him surviving another year. Robinson’s now a lame duck.

  • Gopher

    The thing about nukes is you actually have to have them and Peters ability to resign and trigger an election is the closest one gets to it in the Assembly. The second thing about nukes is once you use them the leverage you get by threatening to use them is gone, OTR’s and Welfare Reform in itself ain’t enough to go thermonuclear which showed up his attempt to get the. Secretary of State involved in Welfare Reform as a bit ham fisted. The third thing about nukes is people have to know you will use them and Peter is starting to look too attached to that Sybarite paradise on the hill so there is a credibility gap developing over the DUP Nukes.

    So basically if the bomb is to be dropped now the only worthwhile reasons are a breach of cease fire (mutually assured destruction) or Governmental Reform.

  • jagmaster

    “I don’t think the object of welfare reform is to reduce fraud. It is designed to make formal employment a more attractive option and that is difficult to achieve if benefit payments are not curbed.”

    If formal employment is to be made a more attractive option then a more attractive pay increase will have to be offered. The North of Ireland has some of the lowest levels of pay in the United Kingdom and allied to the rise in household bills and utilities where wages have not kept up, working is frankly not worth it. Perhaps a start could be made with businesses who expect the tax payer to top up their low wages in the form of tax credits, when they start paying a proper living wage then perhaps we can talk about welfare reform.

  • Gopher

    Perhaps we should just give everybody a million pounds in the “North of Ireland” then we would not have poverty and those that want to work. It can kinda like be a hobby for them.

  • Barnshee

    “Let us imagine that to supply NI with the services that the people need and expect and have been receiving costs £1000,000,000 pa [The real cost is ?????? … well, I do not know but somebody is bound to have an accurate figure somewhere, so please share it …. although for this enlightening exercise does it not really matter at all] The services are what they, be they good or be they bad, but they are delivered at that cost/for that price.”

    NI cannot pay enough in taxation to fund “the services”

    These services are subsidised by other people in the UK They are fed up paying —the subsidy is being cut–get used to it.

    “If formal employment is to be made a more attractive option then a more attractive pay increase will have to be offered.”
    working is frankly not worth it.?

    Too many people chasing too few jobs -whose fault is that

    If Stormont wants more money let it raise it itsell— Higher rates -introduction of water charges anyone ?

  • Old Mortality

    Jagmaster
    ‘If formal employment is to be made a more attractive option then a more attractive pay increase will have to be offered.’

    You’ve got it the wrong way round. Social security payments are pricing many people out of employment. Your answer is to raise wages to levels where individuals might find it congenial to go out to work regardless of whether they can produce enough to justify them.
    Admittedly, this already occurs to a large extent in N(o)I: it’s called the public sector.

  • jagmaster

    Old Mortality your answer is to send people out to work regardless of the financial implications to them. I’m sure the next time they owe money to an organisation they can phone them up and explain how their stoicism in going out to work and not claiming benefits is the moral and proper thing to do, it still won’t pay the bills but still…

  • aquifer

    Walk and we remember him as Paisley’s side kick.

    He’ll stay.

  • Mick Fealty

    Jag,

    “The North of Ireland has some of the lowest levels of pay in the United Kingdom and allied to the rise in household bills and utilities where wages have not kept up, working is frankly not worth it.”

    I do wonder what policy you think might achieve this outcome? Or this purely an abstract thought?

  • Old Mortality

    Old Mortality your answer is to send people out to work regardless of the financial implications to them. I’m sure the next time they owe money to an organisation they can phone them up and explain how their stoicism in going out to work and not claiming benefits is the moral and proper thing to do, it still won’t pay the bills but still…

    Jagmaster
    Nobody is being sent out to work. Welfare reform will simply make it more attractive to do so voluntarily just like thousands of Poles and Lithuanians and they have to pay bills as well.

  • Morpheus

    You cannot seriously think there are tens of thousands of jobs out there and the people are just too lazy to go and get them. Any chance you are using ‘Benefit Street’ as a representation of what actually goes on in the real world?

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Is this the inevitable fast approaching fate for all who cheat to lead corruptly and ineptly in offices for which they are not intellectually equipped to provide with truth and good guidance which all can savour and appreciate? …… http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-04/how-end-tbtf-do-what-vietnam-does-sentence-bankers-death-firing-squad ….. for nowadays, with revealing information and secret intelligence easily available to all with a need and/or desire to know in a virtual flash, is there nowhere to hide and can nothing be hidden from wider general knowledge.

    Hence the great common sense and magic freedom in sharing everything truthfully so that there be no dirty little secrets that one would be harbouring which can render one suddenly removed from the picture, in an instant, forever.

  • Old Mortality

    Morpheus
    I’ll just have to spell it out for you.
    (1) You insist in introducing the red herring of fecklessness. Sensible welfare reform should have the effect of making formal work less unattractive relative to remaining on benefits based on a rational financial calculation. Admittedly, that argument rests on the rather naive assumption that ALL the unemployed have no source of income other than benefits which would be my definition of fraud.

    (2) As for the paucity of jobs, I simply refer you to my earlier point about migrant workers which you pointedly ignored.

    Any social welfare system inevitably distorts the labour market. Would you be happy to be paid less than another man/woman for doing the same job with the same degree of effort because you had no children and the other person had several children to support.
    It is the duty of a responsible government to minimise rather than amplify such distortions.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Robinson still has not learned the lesson from his infamous 2010 interview that cost him his Westminster seat. Even though he is in full command of the facts and realities, this spitting-blood nasty persona of a man who puts down his political opponents with insults rather than calm arguments is a vote-loser. If he adopted a more relaxed attitude and explained the same things calmly and carefully he’d do a lot better.

    The rights and wrongs of welfare reform are not relevant here. Sinn Féin are failing to explain to people properly what the consequences of blocking welfare reform are. Even with the cuts in place, Westminster subsidize our welfare system over and above the funding allocation provided through the regular formula of the block grant, on top of actually operating the scheme from the point of view of IT provision etc. Preventing the reforms from going ahead will lead to a serious long term financial cost.

    If Sinn Féin wish to block welfare cuts the honest thing for them to do is explain what tax increases or other departmental cuts they believe need to be made in order to keep welfare spending where it is.

  • Morpheus

    CS

    NO ONE is explaining to the people of Northern Ireland – including the Finance Minister – what the impact will be of hundreds of millions leaving our economy every year. There was waffle about hip operations etc earlier this week as a result of the fines but not a single sentence has been uttered about the £450m-£750m that won’t be going in our tills every year causing untold damage.

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that cuts are not needed, the £9,600m deficit is testament to that but the cuts have to be smart and smart we ain’t as the huge amounts we handed back to Westminster prove.

    If the plan is to get people off welfare and into work then we need jobs. We are competing with the RoI when it comes to direct foreign investment and we are losing. Tax dodge or not we don’t have Intel, Facebook, Google, Oracle, Apple etc. and their thousands of jobs they bring coming north of the border. We have Paypal who would rather set up in Dundalk ffs rather than bring the thousand or so jobs to Belfast.

    We simply cannot afford hundreds of millions leaving our economy each year and fair play to the shinners for sticking up for Northern Ireland in an ironic twist

  • jagmaster

    Old Mortality I’ve looked at Job Centre online for the North and they have a total of 1922 jobs listed for the entire area. Newry where I live has something like 3000 unemployed alone so where all these jobs are I don’t know. Throw in zero hour contracts, work for your dole schemes and the general low pay people here receive it’s clear a shit storm would ensue if more restrictions were brought in.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Morpheus,

    I don’t follow what you are saying completely. Why is it necessary to explain that £250 million in cuts to the overall subvention is a bad thing ? Surely that goes without saying.

    Certainly I think the public are not really properly aware of how the government actually allocates funding. I wasn’t aware, until it was explained to me recently, that welfare funding was handled separately and it was based on a gentleman’s agreement whereby the British government would subsidize the additional costs of the welfare system in exchange for the Assembly agreeing to maintain welfare parity. So the problem is not simply about fines being levied by the Treasury; there is the risk that this gentleman’s agreement will break down and the British will say “we’re not doing this anymore”.

  • Old Mortality

    Jagmaster
    Not all vacancies are referred to the Job Centre: those that are are often the most difficult to fill. Are there any private employment agencies in Newry? Have they no jobs to offer?
    Are there no migrant workers in Newry? Have you ever wondered how on earth they can find employment when 3,000 locals fail. Perhaps you can explain this anomaly this since Morpheus either can’t or won’t.

  • Barnshee

    “We simply cannot afford hundreds of millions leaving our economy each year and fair play to the shinners for sticking up for Northern Ireland in an ironic twist”

    “If Sinn Féin wish to block welfare cuts the honest thing for them to do is explain what tax increases or other departmental cuts they believe need to be made in order to keep welfare spending where it is.”

    There are none so blind as those who will not see

  • GEF

    “Alex Attwood: Sinn Féin pulled out of welfare reform deal”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26910819

  • Morpheus

    Hundreds of millions leaving is a ‘bad thing’? Do you not think we deserve a bit more detail than that? How many businesses are expected to go under? How many will lose their jobs? How many families lose a salary – or two? How much will social securities payments go up by? What impact on tax income? What services go?

    OM I understand the words on the screen I just find them not worthy of comment. I am amazed that anyone believes that there are tens of thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland, never mind repeating it several times. Not all jobs are listed on Recruit NI or the job centre websites but they are among the first ports of call when job hunting and for any business who are recruiting. They are a good indicator that there are nowhere near enough job opportunities for those on benefits so I ask again, where do they go?

  • Delphin

    For an estate agent Peter Robinson is sometimes quite insightful. He is quoted in the Newsletter as saying: “There’s nothing like an election to bring about the most fanciful nonsense in the political realm.”
    So SF have to be really anti-austerity until after the elections
    DUP have to be really anti-SF until after the elections

    We will see some form of reality (or not) return after the elections

  • Old Mortality

    Morpheus
    You still haven’t explained why thousands of migrant workers have been able to find gainful employment while thousands of locals languish in long-term unemployment.
    Perhaps the answer is so obvious that you consider it beneath you to spell it out. Nevertheless, I’d be grateful if you could enlighten me.
    Or Jagmaster, if he hasn’t departed the fray.

  • Seamuscamp

    “I don’t think the object of welfare reform is to reduce fraud”

    The purpose of the “reforms” has little to do with fraud. It is aimed at reducing the welfare bill so that taxation can be reduced (or won’t rise). The”reforms” hurt the working poor, the elderly poor, the disabled.Ir reflects Tory morality and sense of entitlement.

  • Old Mortality

    Seamuscamp
    Hopefully welfare reform will help to correct the sense of entitlement held by significant numbers of recipients.
    That sense of entitlement which sees no irony in having a satellite dish on your house while you can’t afford to buy books for your children, or a large dog with an appetite to match while you can’t afford to pay for your children’s school lunch.

  • Morpheus

    Oh for goodness sake OM, there is no doubt that there are people who take advantage of the system but that’s because they can – the system is not robust enough to catch them – so surely it makes more sense to invest in making sure the system is robust rather than allowing hundreds of millions to leave the NI economy. Even if we spent £30m on that it would still leave £420-720m in our economy depending on whose figures you believe. But as explained to you several times, the rates of those fraudulently claiming benefits – those who have a satellite dish or a large dog with a big appetite (!) – is miniscule. The figure is still too high but miniscule in the overall scheme of things. To repeat, 99% of those on welfare are not cheating the system.

    If they are to get off welfare then they need jobs and quite frankly your feeling that there are tens of thousands of jobs in NI – contrary to the evidence you have been supplied – just because we have migrant workers is simply not based in reality.

  • Old Mortality

    Morpheus
    You obviously don’t spend much time in HE estates. You’d find most houses have a satellite dish (if you don’t see many on the front, take a look round the back). If all these people were frauds, as you imply, the proportion would be well over 50%. However, very few of them are: they just consider access to satellite TV to be an entitlement.
    By the way, have you come to any conclusion on employment of migrants?

  • jagmaster

    What’s satellite dishes got to do with the price of fish? I’ve got one outside my house but that’s to pick up freesat if it makes you feel any better. Many other people I know used to have Sky but can’t afford the subscription any more so they just use the dish to pick up the free to air channels.

    It’s pointless arguing with you because you ignore any facts put in front of you and just repeat the usual right wing rhetoric regarding benefits.

  • Morpheus

    I grew up in a HE estate but don’t let that get in the way of your ludicrous claim – employment of migrants is simply not an indicator than there are tens of thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland which those born here are too lazy to get no many how many times you repeat it. That is nothing but ignorance and snobbery.

    As an FYI, 11,000 people applied for 450 jobs stacking shelves at Asda in Armagh, 5000 applied when Junction 1 opened – how does that fit in with your perception that they are just lazy gits eh?

  • tacapall

    “You obviously don’t spend much time in HE estates. You’d find most houses have a satellite dish (if you don’t see many on the front, take a look round the back). If all these people were frauds, as you imply, the proportion would be well over 50% However, very few of them are: they just consider access to satellite TV to be an entitlement”

    You make me laugh Old Mortality you really do. Theres you thinking us poor folk pay for sat tv, no no no that’s just for queen and country folk old timers an all. Us scroungers just watch catch up tv, its only about 2 or three seconds behind but much much cheaper than a sky sub and you dont have to pay the peado protectors license fees either. Get yourself out more and learn how to forage just like Mrs Windsor, imagine a billionaire applying for a heating grant, where would ya get it.

  • Old Mortality

    Morpheus
    Stacking shelves isn’t necessarily a full-time job but a handy source of supplementary income.
    It’s clear you don’t have anything resembling a rational explanation for the presence of thousands of migrant workers in an economy where there are apparently no jobs.
    If someone can travel from the other side of Europe to take a job what’s to prevent someone from travelling down the road to take it. The purpose of welfare reform it to encourage the short journey.
    Tacapall
    Thank you for bringing me up to speed with the extent of technological adoption among the deprived. Sky TV and giant screens are just so last year then.

  • tacapall

    “It’s clear you don’t have anything resembling a rational explanation for the presence of thousands of migrant workers in an economy where there are apparently no jobs”

    Its called manipulating the wage barrier, a few rungs up the ladder from indentured servitude. Its bringing slaves into the country and not giving two fks whether they live or die as long as you make money out of them one way or another.

  • Morpheus

    OM as the saying goes “you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into’ so if you want to believe there are actually tens of thousand of jobs in Northern Ireland and people are just too lazy to get them – despite the evidence to the contrary – then fill your boots.

    :)

  • Barnshee

    “The North of Ireland has some of the lowest levels of pay in the United Kingdom and allied to the rise in household bills and utilities where wages have not kept up, working is frankly not worth it.”

    Surplus of labour supply over demand for labour O level economics = low wages

  • zep

    Either there is work out there to be had and migrants are flocking here to get it (and our lot won’t bother) or the jobs aren’t there and migrants are coming here to live on the dole (possible) or to work illegally (i.e. cash in hand, below the minimum wage) – also possible. None of these scenarios reflect a healthy employment environment. I agree with OM insomuch as we have a very skewed view of what is a basic entitlement. Shelter, food, clothing, heating, healthcare, basic quality of life – all vital and you should not miss out on these things if you cannot find work. And crucially, if you do work, you shouldn’t be struggling just to meet this minimum threshold – otherwise why bother?

    Interesting that Attwood has backed up Robinson’s comments. Sinn Fein are the masters of having and eating cake though so it’s hardly a surprise. It does underline the dysfunction of our mandatory coalition though, you’d be better off trying to get a sackful of cats to come up with a cohesive programme for government.

  • Morpheus

    NI unemployment rate = 7.4%
    NI average wage = £21,836

    RoI unemployment rate = 12.3%
    ROI average wage = £29,931

    They have an even Surplus of labour supply over demand but their average wages is £8k a year more. What does O-Level economic say about that?

  • zep

    Sounds like if you’re not working for Google Dublin you’re fucked?

  • Barnshee

    They have an even Surplus of labour supply over demand but their average wages is £8k a year more. What does O-Level economic say about that?

    Says it fits the theory– higher (average) wage = higher unemployment rate

  • Morpheus

    Well look at that, it appears that even the Executive aren’t sure how much will be taken out of the Northern Ireland economy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26925118

    Let’s be clear about this – those who are pressing hardest for the Welfare Reforms to be implemented immediately don”t know how much is leaving our economy so have no idea what impact the losses will have on businesses, families, individuals etc

    How very typical.

  • zep

    Morpheus – if Peter and Alex are to be believed, all of our beloved local parties had agreed to a welfare reform plan – so who is pushing hardest?

  • Morpheus

    Judging from the fact that SF are all that stand between an unknown amount of money leaving our economy with unknown consequences for the population I would hazard a guess that the DUP are pushing hardest – wouldn’t you?

  • zep

    I’ve no idea, aside from what has already been stated, that agreement was reached between all parties. It’s the DUP’s portfolio, but the knock-on effects could (!) be widespread.

  • Old Mortality

    Tacapall
    At least you attempt to answer the question of migrant workers, even though it was predictably facile.
    What is the wage barrier you refer to? Is it the minimum wage?Whatever they earn, it doesn’t prevent them from wanting to work and describing them as slaves is a slur which I assume is intended to justify the reluctance of local benefit slaves to compete with them for employment.

  • Morpheus

    You are bang on the money zep, it has been the DUP’s portfolio for quite some time – I have a lot of time for our current Finance Minister (when he leaves the party bollix at home) but he should have had this nailed down instead of us calling in an economist AFTER the fact. The impact of hundreds of millions leaving our economy should already be known.

    He should also have a tighter control of the reigns to ensure that £300m is not handed back to Westminster as a result of underspend.
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/hundreds-of-millions-lost-as-stormont-underspends-29669952.html

    To me smart cuts are obviously needed but the hundreds of millions leaving our economy every year will have a devastating impact on Northern Ireland so it shouldn’t be the green/orange issue it has been reduced to. I can assure you that when businesses start going to the wall and people are being laid off because money isn’tgoing into the tills all this parades/flags nonsense won’t mean jack

  • zep

    Maybe he didn’t need to worry about the impact because he thought a deal was done ;-)

  • Old Mortality

    Morpheus et alia
    This argument about how much leaves the economy is completely spurious, if only because the amount of money spent on benefits will continue to increase. So the wee shops on the corner should survive, if slightly less comfortably.
    This kind of argument was deployed by NIPSA against public sector pay freezes and it has the same ludicrous implication: that all you need to ensure a thriving economy is to increase public sector pay and social security benefits by large amounts.

  • Morpheus

    The Northern Ireland Finance Minister not worried about the impact of hundreds of millions leaving the Northern Ireland economy. Comforting :)

  • tacapall

    “What is the wage barrier you refer to? Is it the minimum wage”

    I really dont know what the hourly rate is for begging on the streets or selling big issues but obviously its enough to pay those parasite slum landlords that feed off those from the lowest rung of the social ladder ridiculous amounts of money for what can only be described as hovels. You know who I mean people like this woman -

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/royal-cottage-owned-queen-unfit-3183573

  • Reader

    tacapall: I really dont know what the hourly rate is for begging on the streets or selling big issues…
    For EU citizens, I think the going rate for selling the Big Issue is “Working Tax Credit” plus a bit of cash in hand. So you are probably in a position to work it out, now.

  • Old Mortality

    Tacapall
    You know very well that the great majority of migrant workers are not begging or selling The Big Issue – those activities are, in my experience, confined to the Roma.
    So if all you have to contribute are red herrings and anti-royalist jibes why don’t you take them elsewhere.

  • tacapall

    Reader I’ll ask my son when he comes in from school what working tax credits he gets with his bit of cash in hand from selling the Anderstown news. Surely he’s on the same rate as those EU citizens selling big issues, like whats the difference. I wouldn’t like to think some government funded media outlet would exploit him for financial or political gain.

  • Reader

    tacapall, I thought you would be an expert. Anyway, your son may be up against it:
    https://www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit/eligibility
    Alternatively, I may have done him a massive favour.

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Do the political parties/political party members in the NI Assembly and the Executive in Stormont, which/who are proxy representatives of your, the greater people’s, wishes, support this proposed facility and ability? Are they being asked? Will they say they are powerless to prevent it? Do you, the people, want it? So many questions, so much time, and there’s elections soon too,……..

    UK Bank Accounts Can Be Raided After Budget

    HM Revenue & Customs will be able to directly access taxpayers’ bank accounts in order to recover unpaid tax, under measures announced in this month’s Budget speech.

    The little noticed move gives HMRC similar powers to raid bank accounts and recover tax and tax credit debts in excess of £1,000.

    In the Budget Red Book, the measure is described as follows:

    “The government will modernise and strengthen HMRC’s debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 of tax or tax credit debts, have the financial means to pay, and have been contacted multiple times by HMRC to pay.”

    At the moment, if HMRC want to seize your property or cash, they have to take you to court, win and then get a court order. Now, after a couple of warning letters and a phone call, they can do it in conjunction with your bank, with a touch of a button.

    Crucially, there’s no safeguard built into this system. There should be a transparent and fair process and an appeals process.

    Now, if HMRC officials decide you owe them cash, they can just take it directly from your bank account. If you haven’t managed to reach agreement with them, then you’ll just wake up one morning, check your bank account, and find your cash is gone. No insolvency proceedings, asset freezes, debt collection agencies or court proceedings. Just the government taking out whatever it believes it is owed.

    The significant HMRC legislation change was buried deep in the Budget document and comes amid preparations by international monetary and financial authorities and the Bank of England for bail-ins.

    The UK government can now confiscate UK citizens money directly from bank accounts while it decides if you have broken the law or not. This is a significant power grab and this and the real risk of bail-ins are another reason to own physical gold outside the banking system, in jurisdictions that respect private property. ….. http://www.goldcore.com/goldcore_blog/UK_Budget_Allows_Bank_Accounts_To_Be_Raided

  • Barnshee

    “This is a significant power grab and this and the real risk of bail-ins . ”

    This is not law yet and MAY be ameliorated as it passes thru the commons Lords but doN`t count on it

    There is good advice here

    ” another reason to own physical gold outside the banking system, in jurisdictions that respect private property”

    And I recommend just not ” gold” in “jurisdictions that respect private property”

  • jagmaster

    Surplus of labour supply over demand for labour O level economics = low wages.

    Thanks for that Barnshee I’ll relay that to my electricity supplier the next time they want paid and I don’t have the money. I’m sure they’ll be so understanding.

  • Barnshee

    “Thanks for that Barnshee I’ll relay that to my electricity supplier the next time they want paid and I don’t have the money. I’m sure they’ll be so understanding.”

    ???????

    And your point is?