Tag Archives | devolution

Gordon Brown’s plan for a constitutional convention is likely to be stillborn, but his ideas for closing the yawning UK wealth gap deserve attention

A more federal UK is needed to create a more economically equal state and  buttress the Union’s survival, says the former prime minister Gordon Brown. New research starkly exposes the wealth gap between London and the regions more clearly than ever. The Northern Powerhouse plan for the north of England only scratches the surface and more…

Theresa May’s new assurances on the border and consultation raise more questions than provide answers

In advance of the Conservative party conference and with speculation running about a hard Brexit, Theresa May has given an interview to  BBC  Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland to try to assure  their  governments  that they won’t be ignored in formulating  the UK Brexit strategy. This is in spite of the UK government’s insistence in more…

An Irish “conversation” is one thing, but what role for Stormont in the British conversation?

The Institute for Government is a think tank that works closely with government. It reports that turf wars are already costing tens of millions. Its expert on devolution Akash Paun blogs that Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont should get their act together to pool  their influence at the centre. Following exchanges over an Irish “conversation,” more…

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Is it time to reduce the number of our MLAs?

CUTTING THE MLAS: Tomorrow the Assembly will debate this motion brought forward by the Alliance party. The party claims that if this measure is introduced by the next election that it could see a saving of £11 million over the course of the next assembly term.

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Legislative Consent Motion vs Accelerated Passage

DOING BUSINESS: Disagreement [again] between Sinn Fein and the SDLP over the virtues of Margaret Ritchie at Social Development introducing a Welfare Reform Bill under accelerated passage and the current move by the DUP/Sinn Fein to introduce reforms through the Legislative Consent Motion (LCM).

Reeling in the years: Collapse of devolution throughout the years

The collapse of devolution has happened before in Northern Ireland and whilst we await the pending demise of the current Executive I thought it’d be interesting courtesy of AP to take a trip down memory lane to see other collapses in the past. Direct rule introduced in March 1972. Here is the outgoing Prime Minister, more…

Abortion law is pawn in a Tory-SNP power game

The Herald reports that the Conservatives are thinking about devolving abortion law to Scotland where a strong Catholic lobby is opposed to the 1967 Act. What the point of doing it unless the aim is to repeal it? Not necessarily apparently. It’s really about the power game between Westminster and Holyrood, not about little matters more…

Nationalist Parties need to shift away from the “blame the Tories” narrative and embrace the Welfare Reform debate

Nationalism needs a new economic narrative and if you didn’t believe that before, the complete debacle over Welfare Reform is proof positive of the inability to construct a proper narrative on our current economic situation or a long term strategy for fiscal rectitude and a prosperous economy. We are faced at the moment with a more…

Calm down, Alex Salmond is not Attila the Hun

The appeals to Labour to put the Union first and spurn an SNP deal coming from Tory warhorses John Major and Ken Baker sound very statesmanlike. But what do they really mean, with Labour just ahead of the Tories in the forecasts?  First, based on all the predictions of main party scores and an SNP more…

Sinn Fein cartoon, Brian John Spencer

Cartoon – Spencer on Tuesday

George Osborne set corporation tax on the condition that talks be resolved and fiscal responsibility be shown. A ‘Peace Fund’ sweetener is on the table too. Sinn Fein has counter-conditioned with a “shopping list” of demands. Here’s this weeks cartoon offering in response to events. Thanks to the Firemen for photoshop work.

Corporation Tax: Picking The Wrong Fight

You might notice from time to time that Foster, DETI, OFMDFM et al. have a penchant for announcing jobs…except they tend to announce a certain kind of job; big jobs, high paying jobs, important jobs, graduate jobs. It’s tough to picture the big wigs rolling down the hill to announce a greengrocers expansion or for more…

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Has Sturgeon thrown a spanner in the works over Corporation Tax?

There is increasing speculation that the Chancellor, George Osbourne is to announce that Corporation Tax powers will be devolved to Northern Ireland. All of the main parties here support the move, so you would think it would be relatively simple to do it. However, the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Stugeon might have just thrown a more…

Devo Max with corporate tax cut ” disastrous” for NI

This powerful case against the SNP’s Devo Max plans including a 3% cut in corporation tax is made in the academic  website The Conversation by  Arthur Midwinter Associate Professor, Institute of Public Sector Accounting Research at University of Edinburgh  and a former adviser to the former Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament  Johann Lamont. It more…

Corporation tax powers huge test for Stormont

The word is out that the government will grant  Stormont control over corporation tax when the Chancellor makes his Autumn Statement on 3 December.  Peter Robinson is  talking with the confidence of a done deal.  David Cameron gave a broad hint this morning as he was  grilled by  all the select committees chairs in the more…

Barnett formula bonus won’t last

The present and future  cuts may seem tough – and they are – but here I belatedly post the good news from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), s that they could be much worse, were it not for a” flaw “ in the Barnett formula for allocating the block grant.  The calculations presented in more…

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