ISNI for slow learners?

Prior to the meeting with the Prime Minister Chancellor Gordon Brown it had been said he would be in listening mode, that this was only the first step in bidding for a “peace dividend”. After all, what do you give an economy already overly dependent on public funds? More public funds? Maybe not. Update below£50billion may be the headline but, looking closer, Brown stated

“I also said today that we would be prepared to have a 10 year agreement about investment in infrastructure for the future, not just four years but 10 years, worth about £18bn in that period”

Except, there is already a 10 year Investment Strategy in place. From 2005-2015, up to £16billion was already expected to be invested [included in that figure are PublicPrivatePartnerships] – PDF summary here – as Peter Hain previously announced, in December 2005 – Delivering a world class Northern Ireland: Historic multi-billion pound regeneration blueprint unveiled

“We are clearly signalling Government’s strong commitment to taking forward major programmes of work including education, health, and transport and, of course, those areas that fall within EU compliance. The projects identified cover almost every aspect of life in Northern Ireland.

“Future years’ spending plans will be examined and finalised in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review when the Investment Strategy is reviewed and updated, thereby creating a rolling programme.

And as far as I can recall, it had already been announced that the NI budget was to be raised to £9billion in a year or so [I’ll check that when we get back to Kansas]. 4 years of a budget at £9billion plus 10 years of strategic investment totalling £18billion… no wonder Brown didn’t have to listen for long – although there’ll obviously be a need to examine the full details as they emerge. Oh, and as Henry McDonald predicted on Sunday.. it looks like cutting corporation tax was a no deal.

Update The Treasury has some more details on the proposals

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  • Yokel

    How many begging missions and peace dividends have we had?

    I’m fucking heartily sick of them. How about a period of decontamination for all NI politicians. Until such times as they get the whole show sorted out theres no extra in the pot.

  • Greenflag

    Yokel ,

    ‘How many begging missions and peace dividends have we had? ‘

    Since 1920 when Northern Ireland was established as a separate State at least 86 . When you add in the extra ‘begging ‘ missions of one sort or another be they to the UK , the Republic , the EU or the USA, probably 2,000 🙁

    For all their ‘missions’ they still haven’t a pot to piss in and nothing to show for all their beggary except we need ‘more’

    ‘How about a period of decontamination for all NI politicians.

    Very polite of you . You might think that I’d even agree with you but I could’nt possibly comment :)? Apres Nov 10th /Nov 24th perhaps . ‘

    I’m fucking heartily sick of them.’

    Not very polite but certainly understandable :)!

  • The whole corporation tax debate is very interesting. Peter Hain’s comments perhaps suggest the issue isn’t totally closed even for the British Government.

    One aspect of the issue that hasn’t been much commented on, maybe because it’s too obvious, is it’s significance for Brown’s leadership ambitions. Anything that might lead to more autonomy for Scotland, will weaken his case for being Prime Minister. Brown must be feeling particularly unlucky to have the DUP lining up against him on this issue.

    Even if Brown blocks a coporation tax cut for the North, it won’t necessarily stop one in Scotland. The latest polls ahead of next year’s election suggest there is a real possibility of a Lib Dem – SNP coalition that would have a mandate for fiscal autonomy. If that happens, Northern Ireland could find itself playing catch-up with both of its nearest neighbours.

  • aquifer

    The Laird givveth,