Some detail on policing and justice budget commitments

Whilst the BBC, and RTÉ, conjure up the figure of £1billion to attach to the policing budget commitments agreed between Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers and the Prime Minister, UTV says £800million.. The reality appears to be that they don’t know exactly how much it is. The letter promises “access to the reserve to meet any exceptional security pressures relating to policing and justice”, there are some other speculative commitments, an accountancy sleight of hand, and the gifting of four former military bases to the NI Executive for disposal.. when the market improves… Interestingly, to meet the hearing loss claims cost, “the Treasury will be prepared to acquire from the Northern Ireland Executive sellable assets worth up to £12 million a year for five years, or £60 million in total.” Adds According to Jim Allister, “money drawn down from the reserve will have to be repaid” – “far from being a good deal, this will turnout to be a milestone [millstone] round the neck of Northern Ireland for years to come.” And According to Jeffrey Donaldson, “Any drawing upon ‘the reserve’ will not need to be paid back. This is plain and simply wrong.” Finally Via Mark Devenport – “(UPDATE: The NIO has also weighed in this evening insisting that “this claim is without foundation. HM Treasury are not requiring Reserve claims to be repaid in this case”.)” Hmm.. in this case..From the letter

The key elements of the settlement are:

•The Northern Ireland Executive will have access to the reserve to meet any exceptional security pressures relating to policing and justice. On the same basis, HM Treasury will be prepared to make available up to an additional £37.4 million in 2010/11.

•Capital budgets in the next CSR period will be sufficient to enable the Executive to take forward routine, but necessary work, to maintain the operational capacity of existing assets, to complete the police training college and to come to its own view about the relative priorities for new capital expenditure including Magilligan Prison and other projects in the period ahead.

•The legal aid allocation is a £20 million a year addition to baseline through to the end of 2012/13, after which efficiency savings will be expected to take effect, allowing the baseline increase to be reduced to £14 million a year. To meet additional pressures over the next two years, including other courts pressures, we agree the need on a one-off basis for a further £12 million. If, in the event, pressures turn out to be higher than this, HM Treasury will provide further money from the reserve up to a maximum of £39 million. Until the end of 2012/13 this access to the reserve will not be recouped from future EYF.

•HM Government will gift the four agreed former military bases to the Northern Ireland Executive. It would be anticipated that a portion of the land in Omagh will be used for an educational campus but it would be expected that disposal proceeds from the other sites would be used, on a basis agreed with HM Treasury, to meet exceptional resource pressures (including potentially equal pay claims). HM Treasury will work with the Northern Ireland
Executive to help ensure that any timing issues, related to delays in securing these disposal proceeds as a consequence of market conditions, can be addressed on an agreed basis.

•On police pensions, previously identified pressures of £101 million can be fully addressed through technical changes which will include a public expenditure neutral DEL to AME reclassification.

•There are potential pressures (the “long list”) of around £15 million in 2010/11 on resources relating to policing, prisons and probation. This should fall to around £10 million a year in the next CSR period. Baselines will need to be sufficient to meet these pressures. In addition £30 million in unallocated EYF and underspends generated in future years will be available to meet pressures.

•Prior to devolution the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the head of the PSNI will agree on how front-line policing is protected while ensuring the greatest efficiency.

•Hearing Loss. The Northern Ireland Executive will meet the first £12m of claims in any one year. Any sums incurred above that will be met through access to the reserve, based on annual agreement between the Northern Ireland Executive and HM Treasury on the litigation strategy. To assist the Northern Ireland Executive to meet the expected £12m a year pressure, the Treasury will be prepared to acquire from the Northern Ireland Executive sellable assets worth up to £12 million a year for five years, or £60 million in total.

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  • igor

    Why do we need such a big Police college when the police will be downsizing and why is it in Cookstown when the vast majority of police officers will be in Belfast and the roads to that town are dreadful?

    This is irrational

  • igor

    ” a public expenditure neutral DEL to AME reclassification”

    ah .. that will quieten the dissent in the DUP rank and file

    is that a Protestant AME or a catholic AME?

  • percy

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8319287.stm

    Conservative Party leader David Cameron has said he will respect the prime minister’s agreement on policing and justice with Northern Ireland
    leaders

    trouble with these P&J posts is:
    events are overtaking even as you speak.
    Its already history..

  • paddy

    y has mc guinness not had talks with the garda about pj sure were getting a united ireland in 2016 his words

  • Comrade Stalin

    Cameron’s decision to “respect” the proposal put forward by the Prime Minister is interesting and puts the UUP/UCUNF in an awkward position given the stuff they’ve been putting out over the past number of weeks.

  • boss hogg

    This leaves the UUP having to do the what there political masters say in the Conservative party!

  • Frustrated Democrat

    CS

    No, they respect the financial settlement only – they rest is for the lcoal parties to decide.

    I would be fairly certain that the UUP were in agreement before anything was done.

  • shorty

    £800m – £1bn for policing and justice. Meanwhile, budgets for health, education, housing, youth services, the elderly, all face cutbacks. Elsewhere, that would be called the politics and policies of a police state.

    As for the £800-£1bn itself, I take it that’s the once, much heralded peace dividend which they tried but couldn’t get the British government to deliver sometime ago.

  • But what about…

    Thanks for the gift of the four big army bases, will we have to stump up the rates costs for this land until we can sell it?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Right after the DUP stated they required UUP consent for the transfer the UUP stated they would vote against it and were roundly condemned by the DUP, SF and Alliance.

    They were also jibber-jabbering, as was Frustrated Democrat about the DUP/SF not being able to run Education etc and therefore they should not get Police as well. What happened to that arguement?

    It was clear the UUP were seeking to exploit the situation and embarass the DUP – if genuinely worried about finance they should have backed the negotiators getting the money.

    CS,

    the Alliance were also jibber-jabbbering about the DUP/SF not being able to run Education etc – in a very poor display by Wee Davey until he was invited into the Stormo ministerial tent himself.
    As I pointed out on Slugger at the time – it was piss poor stuff from the Alliance Party.

  • Driftwood

    What money? It’s all financial smoke and mirrors. The 4 ex army bases??? big fucking deal.

    This really is flogging a dead horse. Robinson will need to do a refresher course in estate agent waffle to ‘sell’ this one. That said I think the public are now so indifferent to the incompetence and corruption at Stormont that no-one will care either way. But please let’s not pretend we have been gifted anything by the Government here.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Driftwood,

    perhaps you are right – but as long as Englezes transfer the power and pick up the tab then it doesnt really matter.

    re. “corruption” – Are you serious? the stuff in Stromo is but nothing compared to the Mother-of- All-Corrupt-Parliaments-Moat-Cleaners-and-House-swappers.

  • DR

    Sammy,
    why are you dragging Leinster House into the discussion?

    I think it is a well crafted letter, from Gordons point of view, lots of committments, but nothing really new with wriggle room for the treasury to get out of it and claw things back, and what are these “sellable assets”?

  • Couldn’t comment – should’nt

    Normal service has been resumed – Brown fires a letter to the natives dangles a few trinkets and beads and the chiefs are prepared to sell their wives if thats what it takes.

    As for the UUP as they can’t agree on any strategy they will rollover as usual and Robbo will declare himself thje devolutionary messiah – ut we all know he’s not – he’s just a very naughty boy etc

    The twelve apostles will squirm but as they have no backbone that’s allthey’ll do and come the next election a few peerages etc will calm those beating principles – sorted

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Couldn’t comment – should’nt,

    You have left Jimbo (TUV) out of the equation – is he going to go away as well?

  • andrew white

    The 4 ex army bases??? big fucking deal…

    oh dear, someone give the UUP back their rattle. If this is such a bad deal why dont the UUP ask for a better one from the Tories? where is the UUP blueprint for what is needed for P+J? what happened to not devolving it for 5 years?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    andrew white

    yes, good point, the old 5 years trick, I’d forgotten about that little rodblock they had been erecting.

    Still early days, there still has to be a debate in Stormo – how embarassing for the Tories if the UUP are seen to be holding up the political settlement.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds According to Jim Allister, “money drawn down from the reserve will have to be repaid” – “far from being a good deal, this will turnout to be a milestone round the neck of Northern Ireland for years to come.”

  • Driftwood

    At the risk of being pedantic, does Jim Allister mean ‘millstone’? Freudian slip maybe?

  • Pete Baker

    Driftwood

    I think he probably does..

  • Driftwood

    For the record Pete..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milestone

    Milestones are constructed to provide reference points along the road. This can be used to reassure travellers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance travelled or the remaining distance to a destination.

    A millstone around one’s neck is a Biblical metaphor meaning a burden or large inconvenience one has to endure.

  • iluvni

    and what about the discriminatory 50/50 recruitment rules?
    Have the DUP ensured the immediate cancallation of that outrageous policy in their dealings with Sinn Fein and Brown.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Driftwood,

    re. “A millstone around one’s neck is a Biblical metaphor meaning a burden or large inconvenience one has to endure”

    A good Ulster Prod, even a good Ulster Prod that does not believe in the qaure-fellah-in-the sky and his bible are never far apart.

  • cut_the_bull

    Jeffery D on BBC radio this morning claimed that the DUP would have a public consultation before accepteing any deal on P&J.
    This consultation would determine if thier was public confidence in support of devolving P&J.

    Who is the DUP going to be consulting with? its party branches,support base and its electorate.

    What if the Poradown branch or the South Belfast branch demand not only the removal of the Parades Commission but parades down the Garvaghy and Ormeau Roads. In the event of these marches not happening will that be enough for the DUP to state that there is a lack of public confidence.

  • Pete Baker

    And According to Jeffrey Donaldson, “Any drawing upon ‘the reserve’ will not need to be paid back. This is plain and simply wrong.”

  • Pete Baker

    Via Mark Devenport – “(UPDATE: The NIO has also weighed in this evening insisting that “this claim is without foundation. HM Treasury are not requiring Reserve claims to be repaid in this case”.)” Hmm.. in this case..

  • paddy

    there is money in pj for a new jail is mcguinness thinking like dev bringing back internment

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Very unlikely the Englezes would have used such an obvious ruse to fox the Unionists and Nationalist Paddies.

    Allister will now probably say that it was going to be a ruse until he rumbled the Englezes.