I argued that the crisis in Unionism is essentially a competitive one, and today David McNarry demonstrates presses on the heels of Sammy Wilson over the problems of, to borrow the words of Mr Munchau a ‘pre-crisis’ budget in a post crisis world… Months of denial under the stewardship of Nigel Dodds has left Sammy Wilson with a huge mountain to climb, or perhaps more appropriately a huge fiscal hole to fill… But with what? The Health budget? Social development? Dare he?
“The current efficiency targets set in the last budget are already not being met. Evidence from official sources indicates that for the period covering 2008/09 47.7% of the planned savings are marked at being “at significant risk.” The figure for 2010/11 is worse, with 51.6% of these savings assessed as being at significant risk. This is a trend already showing in 2008/09 – when £273 million was to have been saved only £174 million was actually saved – a shortfall of £99 million on the savings target. So now we have a mini black hole appearing in the middle of Sammy’s rescue package for the even bigger black hole.”
“What we now have since Sammy admitted to a £400 million black hole, in one of the biggest ministerial climb-downs in recent history, is that once again Sammy is doing too little too late. With new black holes appearing all over the place, it is clear Sammy’s efficiencies will not work – in fact, they are failing already.”