About that recall of Irish pork you announced..

According to a RTÉ report Northern Ireland Ministers are to seek access for Northern Irish companies to the Republic of Ireland’s €180m contingency fund “to cover costs arising from the recall of pig meat following the dioxin contamination”, announced last week. From the RTÉ report

Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector is to seek compensation for costs incurred during the contaminated pork crisis. Two Stormont ministers, Arlene Foster and Michelle Gildernew, hope to hold discussions with their counterparts in the Republic this week.

Well, it would be unpatriotic not to..

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  • Dave

    Now that the government have guaranteed the banks, no one bats an eyelid at the taxpayer becoming the default insurers for the commercial risks of private businesses. It is not the fault of the taxpayer that a private manufacturing business supplied contaminated feed to other private businesses, nor should the taxpayer become the first resort for compensating those private businesses who have suffered loss due to the mistakes of other private businesses.

    It is appropriate that this should be in the pig industry because the imagery is that of pigs scrambling to feed in a trough at the expense of the taxpayer. If the Irish government give a single penny of taxpayers’ money to the citizens of a foreign country (who have never contributed a single penny in taxation to the Republic of Ireland) as a result of an asinine political appeasement process that pretends that two separate sovereign states are one sovereign entity, then it is time we clarified the issue and put the borders back in place and repeal the relevant legislation that underpins it.

  • dub

    Dave,

    If one were not intimately acquainted with your particular viewpoint one would from a first glance at your post assume that you were a hard line revisionist a la conor cruise o’brien! What an error that would be!

  • Mack

    Dave – “If the Irish government give a single penny of taxpayers’ money to the citizens of a foreign country (who have never contributed a single penny in taxation to the Republic of Ireland) as a result of an asinine political appeasement process …”

    Indeed. You’d wonder what the expected return on investment is for this money? But, I imagine the British feel the same…

    You could easily modify that paragraph to accomodate the following (given that many Nordies, do in fact hold Irish citizenship).

    “If the British government give a single penny of taxpayers’ money to the citizens of a foreign country (who have always been a substantial burden on the tax revenues of the United Kingdom) as a result of an asinine political appeasement process …”

  • Oilifear

    I’m bewildered.

    “Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector is to seek compensation for costs incurred during the contaminated pork crisis.”

    So, is the Republic going to seek compensation for the profits incurred by Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector before the contaminated pork crisis?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against this kind of thing, but you cannot demand it à la carte. If the N.I. executive want to put forward this as the way forward (we fuck up, we compensate you – you fuck up, you compensate us) then that’s fine and seems fair, but it pulls into the open all of the market distortions caused by the existence of the border. And if the source of the contaminate proves to have originated in the North, what then?

    The solution, I would argue, is the acceptance that there are two main economies in this archipelago (not UK/ROI, but GB/IE) and that we on this island work far more closely in organising our own.

  • Mack

    Oilifear – It looks like it’s the begging bowl.

    I don’t think there’s any quid pro quo on offer. Given that the NI Executive have no revenue raising powers (and therefore don’t really have to manage an economy) it’s just a natural outworking of their natural behaviour…

  • Greenflag

    ‘it’s just a natural outworking of their natural behaviour… ‘

    It’s the compo ‘mentality’ . Can’t blame them . We’d do the same if we were in the same position .

    Take out your sterling take out your sterling before it becomes wallpaper 🙁

    Ireland votes for the Euro 🙂

  • swine feaver

    Lets not forget 90 million of the 180 million available has been given by the EU (sweeties for a referendum) to assist the industry affected by this this incident so the north’s processors may have a case.

  • William

    Never forget that Ireland is ‘united’ as an island, until the Republic’s politicans have to dip into their Exchequer’s coffers and pay out money….they only do it when it is of advantage to themselves, i.e. the money for the road links to NI and the dosh from their budget to Prod projects in Northern Ireland….

  • Mack

    William
    Never forget that Ireland is ‘united’ as an island, until the Republic’s politicans have to dip into their Exchequer’s coffers and pay out money….they only do it when it is of advantage to themselves, i.e. the money for the road links to NI and the dosh from their budget to Prod projects in Northern Ireland….

    William, that doesn’t make any sense. Ireland is still an island 😉

    If you want our tax Euros vote for real unity and we’ll gladly spend them on you (as well as instituting a more favourable tax regime, and putting the FDI crack-team the IDA to work for you across the globe). If that’s too much to swallow persuade your representatives to expand the cross-border bodies – which we currently fund.

    If you can’t stomach that, then remember “their Exchequer’s coffers” are my (our for us Mexicans) tax revenues. If you want something for nothing, it has to be beneficial for us.

    He who pays the piper…

  • Mack

    “they only do it when it is of advantage to themselves, i.e. the money for the road links to NI and the dosh from their budget to Prod projects in Northern Ireland…. ”

    Ooops.. sarcasm detector failed.

  • niall

    Oilifear,

    I think that they are staking their claim for the State monies made available to those who have had an impact from this mess and it is right and proper that they at least do this.

    The normal course of business would mean that the Losses incurred, which we presume are the result of negligence somewhere, would lead to Civil Litigation and ultimately were the companies could not agree an outcome a court would decide.

    However, the fact that the Dublin government has sought out EU funding and is offering to make money available to the businesses that are in trouble mean that this must be explored from a Northern perspective.

    A quick resolution to this in this way may be the best for everyone.

    Otherwise the farms may close, time will pass, Lawyers will get to work, more time will pass and potentially more jobs will go, lawyers will get rich.

  • Oilifear

    Niall, I can see why NI MEPs are vexed at the Executive if they think they have to apply to Dublin for EU funding!

    “I think that they are staking their claim for the State monies made available to those who have had an impact from this mess …”

    That sounds fine, except that it’s another state.

    Again, I have no issue with this – so long as I can presume that you would have no problem with the southern administration seeking compensation for foot and mouth entering the Republic from the North? And let’s allow the PSNI to conclude their investigations before we allow the finger of blame to rest on where responsibility lies on this occasion?

    None of that would actually solve anything, though. It would just allow us to blame eachother for things that are genuinely our fault. What this affair demonstrates is how intertwined the economies of the two jurisdictions on this island are. That’s not a compelling argument for why one should pay the costs of the other, it’s a compelling argument for why we need to work better together in future. It is not like a pipe bursting in the next-door neighbours and flooding your living room. It is a leak in a shared bedsit because we did not organise a cleaning roster. Just because it happened on my side of the room makes it no less your fault as much as mine.

    “A quick resolution to this in this way may be the best for everyone.”

    Yes. And that means working together and helping each other out whenever we can. So far I feel we are being taken for a soft touch on this one. I’ll keep and open mind, but Mack’s comment at 03:00 PM is so far the most compelling to my mind.