The big two

It seems the DUP will tie the two big issues in the election. The DUP will require sufficient funds to deal with the water rates issue as a condition for an Executive. Unsurprisingly. the DUP will confirm that their first ministerial choice will be Finance and Personnel, the Department with responsibility for water rates policy.

  • smcgiff

    This is very annoying – They effectively veto SF from having the Justice department, yet are set to take the Finance department themselves.

    The DUP’s stance effectively means they will get Finance and SF get Education. Either the UUP or more likely the SDLP will get Justice.

    Assuming it’s a DUP, SF, SDLP and UUP carve up in that order, where do YE see the departments going?

  • interested

    The DUP would only get DFP ‘to themselves’ because as the largest party they would get the first pick.

  • George

    Slightly off topic but I wonder what happens if Sinn Féin are the largest party after the election and they decide to designate themselves as unionist.

    Would that mean the SDLP would then provide the DFM unless of course the DUP designated as nationalist?

  • idunnomeself

    I thought that DRD had responsibility for water rates

    DFP though would have responsibility for cutting the hundreds of millions out of other Departments budgets if water rates were scrapped!

    Good luck to the DUP with making sweeping service cuts after promising the earth moon and stars in their election literature!

    I still can’t get my head around the fact that the DUP think they can demand a price for the ability to govern their own country. If the UK Government say no, what do the DUP say ‘alright, then you can keep on ruling us, badly’?

  • another_pleb

    I would have thought that the DUP would have gone straight for education and/or health. Seeing as they kicked up such a fuss the last time about Marty and Babs.

  • Mike

    scmgiff –

    There is no Justice Department, and no party will be ‘getting’ Justice this time round at least.

    The Executive posts will be the same ones as the last time.

  • Steaky

    Personally, I am not, by any means, a DUP supporter, but if their rationale for taking the DFP post is to review the situation for water rates then great, however there it is probably control over other Departmental budgets that they find appealing.

  • fair_deal

    AP

    Different elections so different issues. Education is probably every party’s second choice after DFP so they can be saviour or slayer of selection. My hunch is they will all be wary of health, Gordon’s spending spurt is coming to an end so it will be a tough brief plus would you want to be the person who has to say no to free care for the elderly?

  • another_pleb

    My hunch is that they will avoid choosing any departments that could lead them to make tough decisions in the future.

    The fact is that there are too many schools for the amount of pupils. Who would want to be education minister when one of the first ministerial duties is to close a bunch of schools?

    As for health, there is never enough money to go around, and with an ageing population that has always had a very poor standard of health, (too much beer, cigarettes and ulster fries) these money shortages are only going to get worse.

    Thumbs up to any party who accepts these two particular poisoned chalices.

  • fair_deal

    Personally think a Unionist should take education and push a single state system of education. That would be fun.

  • bruce

    The DUP do not need to take education as they have a veto over all significant decisions in every department under the new legislation. The nats have been stiched up and soon they will realise that the DUPs out-negotiated them.

  • bruce

    “My hunch is that they will avoid choosing any departments that could lead them to make tough decisions in the future.”

    They could not choose a more difficult department than DFP. This is the DUP saying, “We are the boys who can sort out your problems. We are not avoiding difficult decisions.”

    Water charging is a DFP issue not a DRD responsibility.

  • interested

    another pleb
    “I would have thought that the DUP would have gone straight for education and/or health. Seeing as they kicked up such a fuss the last time about Marty and Babs.”

    No doubt they are still emotive Departments – but the issue is much lessened by the fact that they wouldnt have complete unaccountable control of the Department as they had in the past.

    I wouldnt disagree with F_D re education – would love to see the excuses being trotted out against a single system. Dont know if it will be a unionist Ministry this time out or not – cant have every Department and no doubt there are issues in each and every Department where things could be changed.

    Even if a unionist party doesnt take it this time – the rationale for a single system is only going to get stronger in the future.

  • Aaron McDaid

    fair deal:
    “single state system of education”

    What does you mean in terms of religious education? Will there be compulsory Bible teaching of some sort, where ‘interpretation’ is not allowed? We need to have either 100% irreligious state schools which don’t even mention the Bible (except in History class) or else have state schools that’ll teach about most faiths.

  • idunnomeself

    DFP are responsible for rates policy, DARD are responsible for Water

    http://www.drdni.gov.uk/DRDwww_Issues/current.asp?id=iss12

  • I wonder…

    DRD are responsible for water, not DARD.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “Personally think a Unionist should take education and push a single state system of education. That would be fun. ”

    Interesting definition of the word “fun” you have there…

    It would make for a interesting stretch… once the collective fit of apoplexy was said and done.

  • another_pleb

    I’m not so sure that Finance and Personel is the toughest job myself. On the contrary, I think that it is one step removed from actual decision making. Any controversial decisions made by the DFP can be passed on to another department such as education or health. The minister for F&P can say that is was the other minister’s decision not theirs because the inadequate budget plans were dictated to them by westminster.

    Wheelbarrow politics.

  • I wonder…

    One might expect a very close scrutiny of business cases for expenditure in SF-run Depts?

  • idunnomeself

    well yeah, but it works both ways, DFP will be blamed for everything. other ministers will say ‘i bid for hte money, they wouldn’t give me it’, especially when there is no collective cabinet responsibility.

    (dunno how that stray A snuck in there ‘I wonder..’, i linked to DRD!)