Northern Ireland autumn sale begins

Following on from Peter Hain’s speech about Northern Ireland paying its way and moving resources to the frontline, the British government has announced plans to sell off almost all of its civil service buildings and then lease them back from their new owners.

Apparently, the move will save 200 million in refurbishment costs. Stormont has been spared.From Hain’s speech:

“Unless we can address these problems we will not be in a position to face that future with the purpose and drive required. So the Government cannot simply ‘mind the shop’ awaiting restoration of devolution, but must take the necessary decisions, however difficult and controversial.”

On the need for reform, he said “There is a real choice for the politicians and people of Northern Ireland here. These reforms will be ambitious. They will challenge the status quo. They will disrupt power bases and vested interests. They will lead to a radical shift of resources from the back room to the frontline.”