Calton Radio has some interesting material, which they claim originates with the Sinn Fein Unionist outreach department. It’s an interesting (and characteristically robust) espousal of the case for re-unification. Some the figures are fascinating, though it’s not clear how the party’s own strangely protean economic policy itself addresses the statement that “we are spending 20% more than we create”. Look out for “the islands” too: an apparently freshly minted ‘unionist friendly’ term that appears to have just come into use since the deal was declared live.
Confirmation: Its a Basket Case – the 6 Counties Economy
1. 26 Counties – the IDA created 100 thousand jobs last year 2006. In the 6C – Only 95 thousand jobs created in the 10 year period called the Golden Years – never created more than that over a ten year period
2. In the 6C – 100 companies employ 26 thousand people – compared to 1000 companies employing 130 thousand people in the 26C
3. R&D investment – lowest in the 6C compared to England, Scotland, Wales or 26C
4. 6C as the lowest number of women entering business
5. Manufacturing business – decimated;
6. 9% of those employed are in defence and those jobs are under threat
7. The 6C economy is primarily service sector dominated – low wage, part time work.
8. Gross Disposal Income – GDI – second lowest across the Islands at 14%
9. Very low skilled levels in the 6C – 28% of population have no qualifications;
10. The result is that you have sectors that do not produce wealth – the economy is therefore a basket case – coupled with 30 years of infrastructure neglect.
11. Barnett formula – the allocation of money we get from the BG – is designed to bring 6C, Scotland and Wales together to level of per capital as in England – which is much lower.
12. Pump priming the economy – we are spending 20% more than we create.
13. North has the worst motor ways in Europe – lacks 4th in the worst world league tables.
14. Economic inactivity – the percentage of those at working age who are economically in-active – 28% not working or looking for work.
15. 11% of those at working age are on incapacity benefit
16. Net result of all of that is the depression – we need 140 thousand new jobs just to stand still.
17. No way forward for the North on its own – Even British Minister Hain says it’s unsustainable.
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