“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.

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  • Seceder

    You don’t hear this often on Slugger – but Fred Cobain appeared to be on top of his brief, knew what he was talking about and made some very pertinent and clear points.

    Maybe he could run classes for other MLAs

  • ??

    load of nonsense, cobain criticises the DUP and Sinn Fein for wanting to fund water charges then declares at the end that he does not want to pay for water…wheres he getting the money from

    The UUP are so dumb they are running themselves in cirles.

  • New Blue

    Great to see an MLA speak coherently and clearly on a subject, while keeping to the remit of the issue and highlighting just how amateur the ‘big two’ parties in Stormont are.

    The great thing about this is that Fred says that he personally is against the water charges, but is clearly highlighting the fact that if the axis of (evil?) power don’t come up with solutions to where the money is coming from we are all royally fecked

  • ??

    to where the money is coming from we are all royally fecked ………

    er where it comes from at the moment..the block grant..

    should we charge for water ? is that UUP policy now?

  • New Blue


    I must give you grudging admiration for being so doggedly attached to your masters coat tails.

    As I keep pointing out, I do not shape, or have any say, in the development of UUP/Conservative party policy.

    Are you sure it’s in the block grant for the next 3 years?…….

    ………REALLY sure?

  • Pete Baker

    I realise it’s a forlorn hope..

    But if we could leave the electioneering to other places and focus on what’s actually going on?

    There are important questions raised by Fred Cobain in the clip about how the Executive is, or is not, functioning and resorting to party politicing won’t answer them.