Peter Hain points to the huge public expenditure in Northern Ireland and suggests his government mantra in relation to Northern Ireland is ‘Bureacracy, bureacracy, bureacracy!”:
“Reform is vital. “By the 2007/08 financial year, we will be spending in excess of £16bn (€23.4bn) in regional public services in Northern Ireland. “That is 50% greater in real terms than when our Government came to power in May 1997, with health spending up by around 80 per cent and education by more than 60%. “Yet public service performance, in some areas, is among the worst in the UK with, for example, the longest hospital waiting lists only now starting to come down under our new policy levers.”
Which only begs the question of whether such potentially unpopular levers could be pushed by locally elected administrators?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty