“Won’t someone think of the children..”

On Stormont Live today Newton Emerson had some sharp criticisms to make of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s OFMDFM Committee’s report on ‘Child Poverty’ – notably the problem with setting targets based on percentiles of median adult income – in a discussion with the Committee’s Chairman, the UUP’s Danny Kennedy. For those unfamiliar with statistics here’s a detailed account of normal distribution. It’s also worth noting that, even when a government has the required tools to affect income re-distribution, alleviating poverty isn’t an easy matter. As this recent Guardian report indicates.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I wish we had a few more Newton Emersons around. Watching Danny Kennedy squirm was most entertaining.

    I had no idea that the powers concerning the benefits system were not devolved ?!?

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed, Comrade.

    We could do with more people pointing out that the imperial attire is.. somewhat lacking.

  • Mick Fealty

    Intrigued by Newt’s suggestion that ‘they weren’t requested’…

  • mags

    Actually, benefits are largely devolved (except where linked to tax i.e. tax credits). The recent PMB from McNarry on Carers Allowance is an example.

    We have a traditional policy of parity with the rest of the UK in relation benefits however.

  • Shore Road Resident

    No they aren’t. Stormont can’t make any significant changes to the benefit system.

  • Elvis parker

    Mags is right on this one. Our politicians can rant and rave about unionism and nationalism but when no one is looking they – Margaret Ritchie and SF Ministers rush to the Chamber to defend parity with GB! Some nationalsits these!

    Stormont could alter benefits the fact that our politicians are afraid even to mention the possibilty shows them up for the one trick unionist and nationalist ponies they truely are.

    Given that private sector pay is 20% lower than the public sector and significantly below the GB average there is an argument to be had about lower benefits to lessen the ‘benefit trap’ and an argument for lowering the minimium wage and public sector pay too. These are never even discussed by our MLA muppets.

    No they prefer one sided solutions – Corporation Tax to be cut – but without cutting public expenditure – that sort of thing.

    Remind me what are they for?

  • Greenflag


    ‘Remind me what are they for? ‘

    For the cosmetic purposes and to help prevent significant sections of NI’s population going back to the good old days when there were no ‘politics’ and people felt justified in shooting each other .

    PB ,

    ‘We could do with more people pointing out that the imperial attire is.. somewhat lacking. ‘

    Yes but in moderation :)It’s a bit early to point out that they are bollock naked . NI needs at least a fig leaf of perception that the ‘lads ‘ can deliver . Otherwise it’ll be back to the past for a future .

  • bob Wilson

    Good man Newtown Emerson!
    Hope he runs as a Conservative candidate next time