DUP kettle calling Cameron’s fiscal pot black?

Here’s a nice piece of balance to the headlines in today’s News Letter and Belfast Telegraph… It’s the first paragraph of the economy section of the 2010 DUP manifesto [Emphasis added]:

Growing the private sector is the key to economic success. It will be the private sector that will lead the UK into economic recovery.We need low interest rates and must reign back public spending and invest more wisely. Spending reductions must be pursued rather than seeking to increase taxes, though restricted spending cannot jeopardise recovery. A key priority of the next Government must be reducing debt. Public spending in recent decades, and particularly over the last two years in response to the recession, has caused the United Kingdom to be laden with exceptionally high levels of debt. Greater independent scrutiny of Government financial management would assist in preventing similar levels of debt arising again.

Yes, that was the 2010 manifesto. So why, exactly, are we hanging the Tories when they are saying no more nor no less than every other party that has a serious public position on fiscal policy?

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  • slug

    We cant go on borrowing £1 for every £4 we spend.

  • unionistvoter

    UK pays £45,000,000,000 in interest each year Northern Irelands contribution effectively £1,500,000,000

    Still borrowing 25% of our expenditure needs so debt growing, interest repayments growing.

    Either UK government sort it or IMF will, surely even an “A” levels economics teacher can see that.

  • slug

    I want more good quality private sector jobs – allowing our children to aspire to a wider range of careers here in NI. Rebalancing the economy to the private sector is a great idea. I’m glad its on the agenda

  • Re-engaged

    Does the A Level economics teacher include that old Grovesnor High teacher Samuel Wilson – now Finance Minister!!!!

  • bob wilson

    Classic local politicians – twist what Tories are saying and ignore the fact that their own manifestos say similiar things about public/private balance.
    The local media are so inexperienced in dealing with real policy issues they fell for DUP spin.
    At least Eamonn Mallie has had the decency to admit it.
    Can we look forward to the local media now taking the time to read the local party manifestos – and taking them to task over their economic nonsense

  • jtwo

    Stephanie Flanders on Tory economic policy in manifesto:

    ” The manifesto says, time and again, that the Conservatives want a bigger private sector, and a “bigger society” to take the lead role in Britain’s future, not the government.

    “But, assuming they don’t agree with Engels and Lenin on this one, the state isn’t going to just wither away. There is no new detail in those 118 pages on how, exactly, that is going to be done. There is not even any more detail on how fast they would do it. ”


  • slug

    Osborne has said it will be backroom operations not frontline public services.

  • slug

    William Hague sets out the UCU stance on NI’s state dependancy problem here:

    We must Grow NI’s Private Sector

  • slug

    William Hague writes:

    “While others are content to deprive Northern Ireland of the jobs and opportunities that come from a vibrant private sector, Conservative and Unionists have the policies and vision to ensure that Northern Ireland shares in a UK-wide rising tide of prosperity.

    We will tackle the deficit to keep mortgages lower for longer; we will stop Labour’s jobs tax that would wreck the recovery and we will cut corporation tax across the United Kingdom – allowing businesses to grow and create jobs. And here in Northern Ireland we’ll look at how we create an economic enterprise zone, and bring forward plans on the mechanisms for lowering corporation tax. We will also consult on the introduction of a fair fuel stabiliser that will help every family and every business in Northern Ireland.

    There is another issue that other parties in Northern Ireland irresponsibly ignore – the importance of tackling that deficit. This year the British Government will spend £42 billion alone on interest payments on what it borrows. That is more than double public expenditure for the whole of Northern Ireland. It is money that will never be invested in our schools, our hospitals or on our Armed Forces.

    So we need to get the deficit under control, and that is what a Conservative and Unionist Government will do but in a measured and responsible way that allows us to protect key frontline public services. If we don’t get the deficit under control, public services will be threatened. That would be the result of the irresponsible approach of the other parties. With no plan or will to tackle the deficit, they threaten the future of public services in Northern Ireland and right across the United Kingdom.

    The past few days have demonstrated beyond doubt that only the Conservatives and Unionists possess the determination and policies to see Northern Ireland fully share in a prosperous, enterprising British economy. We have stated our aim of re-balancing the Northern Ireland economy by revitalising and growing the private sector. We know this will take up to 25 years, but a Conservative and Unionist government will start on this work on 7th May.

    ‘At the heart of the Union’ is not just a slogan for Conservatives and Unionists. It expresses our core belief that Northern Ireland has a right to fully participate in the political and economic life of the rest of the United Kingdom.”

  • Framer

    A little gratitude to English workers/taxpayers who keep us in the style to which we are accustomed wouldn’t go amiss.

    And that includes BBC interviewers like Mark Carrothers with his fat BBC salary and gold-plated pension, paid for by people working in factories in the West Midlands.

    Instead we get trotskyite-style attitudinising and badgering interrogations about TORY CUTS.

  • Glencippagagh

    ‘must reign (sic) back public spending’

    But of course the DUP will say that only applies to the rest of the UK. No question of any reduction in public sector employment or, perish the thought, wages in NI.

  • madraj55

    I would hold your breath waiting for that, Bob Wilson. The broadcast and print media have bought into the whole ‘Stormont as NI Govt’ and Robb/Marty as Prime Minister. Robbo even called Bush’s trip here, a ‘State Visit’
    if you don’t mind.

  • jtwo

    Doesn’t every government claim it can work economic miracles by cutting ‘backroom operations ‘ – do they ever spell out in detail what this invloves?

    For example the RQIA isn’t a frontline service, it doesn’t treat any patients yet it gets about £5m of health dept money every year. That would seem to make it an attractive target to cut, but do you decide that the work the RQIA does should be stopped, that someone else could do it more cheaply or that it can increase its fees to become self financing?

    Similarly consultants secretaries don’t perform a frontline service but if we decided to let them all go would the NHS work better if consultants did their own scheduling and admin tasks.

    I’m not saying money can’t be saved but the ‘backroom operations’ line is utterly glib.

  • Anonymous

    FT cut calculator: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/abe91fdc-4e08-11df-b437-00144feab49a.html

    Compare “10% Cuts to NI, Scotland and Wales” to some of the other choices.

    Now, where do Tories get their votes again…?

  • Alias

    “So why, exactly, are we hanging the Tories when they are saying no more nor no less than every other party that has a serious public position on fiscal policy?”

    Except they’re don’t. The Tories are saying that the private sector is too large relative to the public sector in other regions of the UK according to specific measurements.

    In Northern Ireland, for example, 30.8% of the workforce is employed in the public sector, compared to an average of 19.4% for the rest of the UK.

    The private sector in NI would have to create 410,000 new jobs in order for NI to equalise with the UK average without cutting the numbers employed in the public sector.

    Given that the total workforce (public and private) is only 758,000 and given that the available workforce is only 4.5% of the total, it is utter nonsense to claim that the public sector in NI can be reduced relative to the private sector and meet the target without cutting the numbers employed in the public sector.

    The other parties do not mention the stats that give the targets that Cameron is aiming for. They’re simply talking generic waffle. Cameron is telling you where you need to be, and a little math will tell you that you can’t get where Cameron wants you to be without substantial cuts.

    Incidentally, the other parties generally talk about cutting “waste” from the public sector, which is uncontroversial since 100% of the electorate support that. That shouldn’t be confused with cutting public sector employment, even if the parties want you to be confused about it. Indeed, the only reason folks are running interference for the parties is because less than 100% of the electorate support would support cutting ‘non-waste’ i.e. their own public sector job.

  • willis

    Just for clarity here.


    2009 – 10 Deficit £167bn

    of which

    £25bn to Northern Rock (Private Sector)
    £42bn to Bradford and Bingley (Private Sector)
    £77.5bn to Royal Bank of Scotland (Private Sector)
    £23bn to Lloyds (Private Sector)

    Grand total of Govt help to vibrant Private sector £167.5bn

    I’m sure I got something wrong there.

  • Bulmer

    What are ‘backroom’ operations? It’s a lovely spin to pretend that somehow there are rooms full of underdeployed people.

    In fact its all the admin and computer and HR and accounting staff! So let’s see how long any services survives without any IT, how many financial problems are caused with no controllers and what happens when there is noone to issue any documentation!

  • Bulmer

    Noone ever got elected by saying that things were going to get worse!

    Cameron tried it and lost his huge poll lead. Poor old Reg must feel as if he’s just been hit by a torpedo and as he clings to the wreckage a Great White Shark scents blood…

  • Greenflag

    Willlis ,

    To them that hath more shall be given . To them that hath not even that which they haven’t got will be taken from them . The politicians are in the backpocket of the financial services and banking sectors and short of hanging both from the same lampost there is no easy way to divide them .

    They have been talking about cutting waste from the public sector even from before Thatcher’s time . No sooner are they elected when talk of cutting dimishes as the prospects of electoral impact are found wanting and negative .

    NI will have to put up with cuts no matter who is elected and the cuts alone will not effect any serious inroad on to the serious imbalance between private and public sectors in NI . That imbalance is the fruit of 90 years of ‘dependancy ‘

  • slug

    In Wales they were the top party in the Euro elections

  • glencoppagagh

    ‘I’m sure I got something wrong there’
    You certainly have.
    £163.4bn is the figure for net borrowing in 09/10 excluding the effect of ‘financial interventions’,as they are officially described. When they’re included, the figure is £152.8bn.
    Just to be clear about this, borrowing is lower because of support for the banks.
    I think your confusion is the one fostered by the economically illiterate media which implies that the state just handed out enormous wads of cash to the banks in the same way that they hand out benefits.

  • slug

    It shows how badly out of line we are – this is a long term project but one that would bring better jobs and a more productive economy..

  • slug

    By the way one of the reasons public spending is so high is social security rather than public sector jobs. By getting the economically inactive out of work public sector depenancy is good not just for our national debt situation but also for the many people who currently have the indignity of being economically inactive.

  • Critical Alien

    Apologies if you’ve seen this already, and if you haven’t

    I wonder what Dave thinks of when he thinks of Northern Ireland?


  • Reader

    Alias: …it is utter nonsense to claim that the public sector in NI can be reduced relative to the private sector and meet the target without cutting the numbers employed in the public sector.
    Well, boo-hoo. I’m in the private sector and it isn’t all that bad. Shifting thousands of people into the private sector will do us all a world of good. Just look at how much healthier and happier people are in the private sector – going by sickness rates.

  • why does it take an eternity to verify posts on here?

  • dundonald voter

    Absolute disgrace and making my blood boil

    One Jeffrey Donaldson MP, MLA Etc Etc, Etc is going to receive an e-mail from me this morning on this subject and if by chance he turns up at my door looking for a vote he is going to know exactly what I think about this

    Complain about this comment

    Posted by Robert | 27.04.10, 09:33 GMT

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/no-ban-on-mlas-employing-family-in-new-expenses-rules-14782540.html#ixzz0mJBTrcTm

    theres the dup fiscal policy for the private sector and the answer to all their problems. the above posting is from an irrate belfast tele reader when reading the article about how employing family members will not be scrapped in northern ireland

  • dundonald voter

    their answer to grow the private sector is to employ the whole family

  • listingloops

    Do I feel the dread spectre of Privatization creeping back into political discussion here? With all this discussion of public sector cuts and “a big society” I’m half expecting the Tories start lining up public corporations for sale.

    TFL and Translink are two that jump to mind…

    Not that I’m nessecarily against limited privatization here in NI, we need to shrink our public sector and increase the private sector so parties should seriously be eyeing up any services which could be sold off. Just being realistic, we can’t rely entirely on those mysterious entrepreneurial projects the Assembly keep talking about to shock the private sector awake.