Northern Ireland and the aftermath of the May poll

There has been much talk about how things will pan out after this upcoming General election with many predicting cuts and tax increases which are likely to be deeply unpopular. Many people out their are thinking: ‘I’m gonna be screwed no matter who I vote for.”

How the leading party manages how they make the hard decisions and how effect they are come the next General election reflect how popular a party is and if they don’t get it right they will be in a very difficult position come the next General election. We already have seen fuel prices rise, the cost of a litre of milk, a loaf of bread, heating costs etc etc …

Parties are not necessarily talking about this apart from managing the economic deficit and the huge debt we as a nation have hanging around our neck.

It is expected that cuts will be made somewhere but where? Labour have committed to protect front line services such as health and education whilst the Tories have committed themselves to dealing with it. Commentators pointed out that the manifestos lacked detail on how extra cash would be raised and where the guillotine would strike. There are many areas where a Government can focus on and that is quangos, civil servants and Government waste. The danger of this is that people employed in the public sector could face unemployment.

The DUP have indicated that they will protect the N.I. block grant as a means of securing their support in the Commons. The DUP is likely to be very important in the new Parliament as the polls indicate a hung Parliament. The total number of MP’s the DUP have (defending 9, fighting 8) after this election will therefore be very powerful group on the green benches.

The party has also argued it will seek to protect our armed forces from funding cuts and seek more movement from the Westminster Government on helping the savers of the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

Jeffrey said that the DUP will hold more leverage than any Conservative MP elected from Northern Ireland. He’s quoted as saying:

“By throwing in their lot with the Tories, [the UUP] have no room left for negotiations,” said Donaldson. “They have sold their vote already to the Conservative party. They have no further leverage. The DUP is the only main party that has the capacity to negotiate in the event of a hung parliament, which seems more likely after Thursday night’s debate.”

This election will see Northern Ireland placed in the centre of Westminster politics. The 1.7 million people of Northern Ireland are therefore very powerful come May 6th.