SNP get an extra billion for second Forth Road Bridge…

The Scots have had a good ten years start on Northern Ireland re fiscal management. Plus they don’t have antithetical interests endlessly competing inside the Scottish Government tent. Which may be one reason why they have a £40 million underspend whereas Northern Ireland, according to some sources, has an overspend of up to £73 million. It hasn’t stopped the SNP trying to die in the ditch for more Whitehall cash for the second Forth Road bridge. Mostly because of a £2 billion shortfall in the amount needed to cover the whole project. Intense negotiations between Yvette Cooper from the Treasury and the Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy on one hand and the Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney yielded an extra £1/2 billion in cash through Barnett (from the cancelled Glasgow Crossrail project), with up to another £600 million being leveraged through savings, property sales and keeping this year’s underspend.

The SNP has claimed it needs another £1 billion for ancillary projects (which may simply not be forthcoming, despite further scheduled meetings). Which is precisely the figure our burnt fingered speculators on the hill have been holding out for… As Pete might say: crossed fingers indeed

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