“All of these discussions have to be approved by the Treasury”

Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey is warning of increasing pressure on Northern Ireland public sector spending in the years ahead – as he’s done before. Meanwhile, on yesterday’s Stormont Live the Chairman of the NI Assembly Regional Development Committee, the UUP’s Fred Cobain, whilst keen to register his opposition to new water charges, for what that’s worth, raised some important questions about the manner in which NI Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, had publicised a proposal to defer the introduction of those water charges again. [Did he run it past the polit-bureau? – Ed] Indeed.