Barnett calls for the scrapping of Barnett

Iain Dale notes Joel Barnett is now calling for the scraping of the Barnett Formula a short term solution to UK internal Cabinet problems, which has become a permanent fixture and in practice guarantees higher levels of government spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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  • English

    It should be scrapped.

  • Bemused

    Not scraped.

    (Sorry – couldn’t resist)

  • Prince Eoghan

    Now that the English economy is getting stronger, and no longer needs Scotland’s oil and gas wealth to sustain her. Which by all accounts will run out soon. Is this not another case of the rats leaving a sinking ship. Or the whoremaster leaving and wiping his proverbial.

    The facts are that services in Wales and Scotland cost far more per person than in England. This is due to less populated areas in the main, and the often vast distances in between. So in actual fact the getting more argument is a strawman one.

  • m

    The TSN (targeting social need) principle in public funding is something already discussed in the north of Ireland for years (Britain could learn from us on this?). There’s is a bigger version of the same arguments.

    Unionist parties are currently pushing for a per head formula (Protestants must get the equivalent per head as Catholics) similar to the old Barnett ‘formula‘.

    While others call for Targeting Social Need (TSN) similar to Barnett’s reassessment.

    Do you direct funds at need or demographics?

  • tyke

    Prince Eoghan, you are just showing your complete ignorance of the facts with those comments. You’re sat in front of a computer – educate yourself. The “whoremasters” are actually Scottish and the extra funding goes towards free services that even the irish are denied access to.
    I hate to use the word loosely, but you really are thick.

  • Prince Eoghan

    I think I may have annoyed you Tyke, if so:¬}
    The truth hurts. We carried you, the wealth is running out. The extra money mainly goes on services that have a much higher running cost than in Engurland.

    Though, you are probably right about me being thick. Just not thick enough to not see through this crap.

  • “The facts are that services in Wales and Scotland cost far more per person than in England. This is due to less populated areas in the main”

    The most heavily subsidised area of Scotland is the largely urbanised Ayr, the money is mostly being wasted on the central belt not the rural Highlands & Islands.

  • This isn’t the first time Barnett has called for an end to the use of his formula. It was never designed to be permanent, he has said in the past, and needs updating to take account of recent changes.

  • PHIL

    Barnett is correct, his formula should be scrapped. English taxes should be spent in England. Can you imagine the outcry if it was even suggested that NI, Welsh or Scots taxpayers should pay more tax just to keep the English in the union, let alone keeping this “union tax” for 30 years?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    For 30 odd years, Scots did pay for the English through their natural resources.

    “Barnett is correct, his formula should be scrapped. English taxes should be spent in England.”

    Who would pay for the lovely sectarian utopia in the 6 counties?, not Scotland. We are played out having carried a neighbour 10 times our size for so long. A neighbour incidently, who officially suppressed the scale of the wealth a small country like Scotland had in the 70’s.

    Freedom of info is telling us all we need to know.

  • PHIL

    Prince Eoghan,

    If your gas and oil was such a money spinner, why did the UK government feel the need to subsidise your nation at the expense of England? Are you suggesting that the Barnett formula was the UK government paying for your gas and oil and if so, why didn’t England get a share for the gas and oil from our waters? As for our taxes subsidising NI’s annual sectarian fest, they should perhaps start paying for it themselves. Maybe when they realise how much their “cultural rights” are costing them they might behave themselves!

  • Crataegus

    With regards Barnett there is no question that this needs to be revised in light of Regional Assemblies and changing times. There are several problems, firstly the whole regionalisation issue was botched by Blair in that we have various Assemblies (or not) with different powers. There needed to be a proper debate on the role of Regional Assemblies, councils, Westminster and Europe and within that context funding. Opportunity missed and what we have is a complete botch up. What type of UK do we want and how do we fund it, who sets the standards and where? In addition there appears to be a lack of coherent regional policy. For myself I believe the way forward is to devolve as much as possible to the regions and let them get on with much of it but this means a massive reduction in the role of Westminster, and a lot of job losses.

    The whole question of tax, and spending is so complicated and inter related that it makes any informed decision difficult. I work in NI, in London and increasingly abroad. I suppose these days I would be seen as part of the economy of the South East. My tax pays for services elsewhere. If we have a Nation then similar standards should apply throughout the country. It will obviously cost more to Service areas such as the Highlands that’s fine with me and if we find oil there then that helps fund elsewhere. That’s how any Nation should work. Equally with need you set standards and pay accordingly for areas that are in need.

    However the recipient of greatest benefit may not be as obvious as one initially assumes. Where are most ministries located? Where is defence expenditure spent? This brings us back to the botched regionalisation and duplication.

    PHIL

    As for our taxes subsidising NI’s annual sectarian fest, they should perhaps start paying for it themselves. Maybe when they realise how much their “cultural rights” are costing them they might behave themselves!

    Firstly I finance things I don’t like such as the war in Iraq. On NI there are two ways to run NI either jump in and do it properly and get rid of the influence of local politicians and the Assembly. Act as though the Assembly does not exist, for it doesn’t function. Or alternatively you sit back and do absolutely nothing as it does exist and it has its role which is the responsibility of local politicians and if they do it well or otherwise it is their problem come the next election. I favour the let it go to hell route as it would soon cause the electorate inconvenience, but the government is doing neither and Hain & Co often look quite stupid.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    “If your gas and oil was such a money spinner, why did the UK government feel the need to subsidise your nation at the expense of England?”

    Is this a mistake? How can we be subsidised by money that rightly belongs to us?

    In my previous posts I have explained just why Scotland and Wales needed more money per capita. Re-bigger, underpopulated areas=higher cost of services. Don’t think we were getting more, in most cases we were lagging behind, especially in playparks and sports facilities. It just cost more to fund facilities with less of a local population.

    As for your take on the annual sectarian fest, agree with you 100%

  • PHIL

    Prince Eoghan,

    “Is this a mistake? How can we be subsidised by money that rightly belongs to us?”

    Agree, it shouldn’t be that way and if Scotland were a sovereign nation (as an English nationalist I believe it should be by the way) then the money that Scotland earned from oil and gas would go straight to the Scottish treasury, likewise for gas and oil from English waters going to the English treasury, but while there is a bogus UK “nation” and a single sovereign government governing us all that can’t happen.

    I take your point about why you think that Scotland and Wales need greater funding (although I don’t agree with you, but I suppose I wouldn’t would I!) but how would an independant Scotland/Wales deal with this problem? Would the shortfall come from the Scottish/Welsh taxpayer or would you expect help from Brussells?

  • PHIL

    Crateagus,

    Yes the UK government do plenty of things in my name that I am totally against, not least the illegal invasion of Iraq, but I don’t think that it will be long before they leave it to Irish politicians to sort out Irish problems, my only concern is that English taxes will continue to pay for it.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil.

    Same place that you make up your shortfalls – Brussels

  • Crataegus

    PHIL

    For a withdrawal strategy to work I think you will be stuck with some financial cost for a while. What is needed is a devolved Administration here with increased power, virtually self governing, and it must be set up so that local politicians work it or face the electoral consequences. The structures within the Assembly are deeply flawed and there is a need for change.