“assess the impact of recent changes in the financial and property markets..”

Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, is on a seven day Trade and Investment Mission to the USA to follow up on the investment conference in May.. And good luck with that, minister.. Meanwhile the Department of Finance is reported to have suspended the procurement stage of Workplace 2010 until early 2009 amid speculation that the two bidding companies may merge. They’ve been evaluating those bids since April this year. From the BBC report.

A spokesman for the department said the suspension would give them “time to assess the impact of recent changes in the financial and property markets”. “The minister continues to affirm the importance of the Workplace 2010 principles, and the NICS remains committed to creating a modern, flexible working environment that will enable the delivery of better public services,” he said. The department said that both bidders were in agreement with the move.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The best thing Arlene can do to encourage investment in Norn Iron is to help to ensure political stability by convincing her party colleagues to stop exercisng a political veto on progress which is clearly against the wishes of the 2 governments.

    She is going to look pretty silly trying to promote Norn Iron’s iamge abraod when her own party’s antics at home are responsible for damaging it.

  • George

    Selling public sector office space to the private sector at a cut-rate deal and then renting the refurbished buildings back off them at high rates.

    Could be expensive in the long term as there seems to be no appetite to tackle the huge public sector but there is 25 billion in NIE fixed assets so a fair amount of cash could be raised in the short term.

    No water charges for another year but when everything is hawked and that bill finally arrives….

  • aquifer

    Why go for retrodollars when the Gulf has petrodollars?

  • The Raven

    Wasn’t her predecessor one of the Ministers who traipsed to Limavady when Seagate closed?

    Wasn’t the quote of the day, “we’ll do everything we can”….?

    Isn’t there a huge big fuck-off factory still sitting there doing nothing?

    Just a thought.

  • cynic

    Wasn’t the enire medium term plan for the NI budget based on the peace dividend and this restructuring of office space / PFI arrangement to free up capital?

    The collapse of the housing market and recession must have punched a huge hole in that. Most of the dividend was in land which the Government hasn’t managed to convert to cash. Prices have now plummeted. Any deal on Workplace 2010 will seriously disadvantage the Executive as they will be selling at the bottom of the market and committing to rising rents over 25 years.

    Remember too the other deals like Peter Robinson’s vaunted sale at Crossnacreevy to plug a black hole in the agriculture budget? Who will want that land for development now? In the next 5 years?

    This must be playing havoc with the Executive’s budget and Nigel Dodd’s may yet have to become the grim reaper for all those fanciful promises that have been made…. oif of course the Executive ever meets to discuss anything.

    Perhaps best to collapse it now and let the NIO pick up the pieces. There’s no votes in making cuts.