The Barnett Squeeze and an overly rigid fiscal union

Mike Smyth argues on the Politics Show that the fiscal union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is far too rigid, and that tax varying powers would allow for more regional autonomy and ‘compete’ against areas like the South East of England where most of the UK’s inward investment and wealth creation capacity resides. Mark Durkan also argues that the Barnett formula is exerting a squeeze on Northern Irish public expenditure, even as the level of Scotland’s public purse is on the rise. In fact Northern Ireland, alone of all UK regions, does okay in terms of monies to meet social need.In fact