David Cameron comes to Northern Ireland…

David Cameron is expected to tell the people of Northern Ireland today they will not have to carry  a disproportionate share of financial savings. The aspiring (or according to Peter Robinson last year putative) PM is on a flying visit to Belfast to boost his sister party, the Ulster Unionists.

David Cameron angered members of the Democratic Unionist Party last week when he signalled over dependence on the public sector would have to be addressed. This was widely interpreted by political rivals as potential cuts in jobs on the back of a national savings of £6 billion.

The Conservative party leader is thought to be examining ways of shielding Northern Ireland from any downside within Europe in the event of lowering corporation tax to enable it to compete with the Republic of Ireland which enjoys a 12.5 %
Corporation tax rate.

Mr Cameron would like to replace the culture of state dependency with greater entrepreneurialism in Northern Ireland.

Yet, while David Cameron is currently in bed with Reg Empey’s Ulster Unionist party, he may well have an eye for dealing favourably with Peter Robinson and the DUP, which is expected to return at least eight MPs, according to an emerging survey.

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  • The Raven

    “David Cameron is expected to tell the people of Northern Ireland today they will not have to carry a disproportionate share of financial savings.”

    What a shame. It was an excellent opportunity to make savings, produce efficiencies and get this region working. Unfortunately, jobs are held up as a scaremongering means of making sure people are scared enough to vote for the “other”. Plenty of opportunities to make savings before looking at jobs.

    “The Conservative party leader is thought to be examining ways of shielding Northern Ireland from any downside within Europe in the event of lowering corporation tax to enable it to compete with the Republic of Ireland which enjoys a 12.5 %
    Corporation tax rate.”

    Great for FDI. Where are the deals for small business – the 92% of “less-than-50-employees” companies in this region?

    “Yet, while David Cameron is currently in bed with Reg Empey’s Ulster Unionist party, he may well have an eye for dealing favourably with Peter Robinson and the DUP, which is expected to return at least eight MPs, according to an emerging survey.”

    What a shame that despite everything, wavering voters might actually believe that the Punt can deliver a better deal for anything other than himself, and his tired, vitriolic, bitter band of brothers, wives and other familial hangers-on. There truly is no hope if this is the upshot of it all.

  • Pete Whitcroft

    Fly in,
    call into Antrim for Reggie,
    then straight back home for tea, crumpets and lashings of ginger beer.
    It could all be done in the executive arrivals lounge, over an Ulster fry, locally sourced.

  • Pete Whitcroft

    It may have to be a speed boat to Strangford though, bloody volcano.
    Helicopters are probably alright too I suppose.

  • Davros

    Can anyone confirm if he’s actually here or not given flight ban?
    I would hate to see HARD WORKING NORTHERN IRISH FAMILIES STRANDED WHILE FAT CAT DAVE FLIES IN etc
    Or even better Dave stranded here waiting rescue by ferry in crucial last few days before election.

  • USA

    Not sure i’m overly impressed with this piece:
    “The Conservative party leader is thought to be examining ways of shielding Northern Ireland from any downside within Europe in the event of lowering corporation tax” …
    What down side within Europe would that be then?

    “Yet, while David Cameron is currently in bed with Reg Empey’s Ulster Unionist party, he may well have an eye for dealing favourably with Peter Robinson and the DUP”
    No chance, he would rather make cuts now when SF and DUP hold power, so he doesn’t have to do it under any potential UCUNF led government.

  • Alias

    The Conservative party leader is thought to be examining ways of shielding Northern Ireland from any downside within Europe in the event of lowering corporation tax to enable it to compete with the Republic of Ireland which enjoys a 12.5 %
    Corporation tax rate.

    The aim of reducing the corporation tax is to siphon investment out of the economy of Ireland and into the economy of the United Kingdom.

    Cameron recognises that Ireland is a competitor state to the UK, and the Irish government need to recognise the same. At the moment they are too influenced by ‘peace-processing’ and its harmonisation agenda. That allows the likes of the Stoops to promote British national interests under the pretence of promoting Irish national interests (Margaret Ritchie, for example, uses the word ‘harmonisation’ as a substitute for the zero-sum reality of one state competing with another).

    One of the objectives of MI5 in promoting British national interests is to promote its economic interests. So they can use their puppets in the Shinners to squeal if the Irish government prefers to but Irish goods in preference to British goods (as they did in the recent Irish chickens debacle) and to squeal “partitionism” if Irish retailers protest about hundreds of millions being spent in the UK’s Northern Ireland economy as opposed to the Irish economy.

    While single regions cannot have arbitrary tax policy under EU law, devolved regions can. However, the downside for the state-dependent Northern Irish is that control of fiscal policy would mean that it would have to subsidise the initial loss of tax revenue. A cut of 17.5% in corporation tax is likely to leave a large hole in its budget which could only be filled within the devolved unit under EU law, so that would require a lot of cuts in public services for that region.

  • Comrade Stalin

    USA:

    What down side within Europe would that be then?

    This is the type of thing that usually gets Alias up there to launch into a long spittle-flecked rant. Europe imposes restrictions on creating economic special cases within a member state. There are questions as to whether or not it would be legal under EU law to have one part of the UK paying a different rate of corporation tax.

    I still think it’s a pipe dream. Why would a British prime minister create a tax haven in Northern Ireland for British firms to uproot and move to ? That’s not going to happen. I suspect they are preparing to find some sort of pretext/excuse for not implementing this change, and I bet it will be Europe. It’s not that there isn’t precedent for this, the Tories used to blame Europe for forcing them to split up the UK’s railways, forgetting that all the other EU member states were subject to the same rules and managed not to split up their rail networks.

    No chance, he would rather make cuts now when SF and DUP hold power, so he doesn’t have to do it under any potential UCUNF led government.

    The Ulster Unionist Party is bankrupt and is on Tory/Ashcroft life support. If they cut that lifeline the UUP is gone. As a party it has no talent and no vision and lurches from one place to another. There won’t be a UCUNF-led government.

    I think the article is talking about keeping the DUP sweet in case Cameron finds himself needing their votes.

  • Re-engaged

    “David Cameron angered members of the Democratic Unionist Party last week when he signalled over dependence on the public sector would have to be addressed”

    Really – just the DUP Eammon – your reporting is getting less and less objective – so the only people angered by the additional £200m saving which is ON TOP OF the £370m announced by the Executive only angered the DUP – oh sorry reverse thinking here if people think the DUP were the only ones angered then they will vote DUP because they back the civil service, so the message from our independent radio political reporter is vote DUP to save the civil service!!!

    Nothing substantive, new or worthwhile in the above and adds nothing to the debate before Thursday

    PS
    Why has no-one asked him about the abolishing of Invest NI – I assume we do not want to upset anyone in UU party or at Bedford St. Yes because that would draw attention to the Department of Employment and Learning that states on it’s website (ran by the erstwhile politician Sir Reggie) “Our aim is to promote learning and skills, to prepare people for work and to support the economy,” rubbish funding already cut to industry by Sir Reg and his team on key programs to help NI private sector business remain competitive.

  • Danny

    Ash cloud returns to Ireland – how convenient for the Two-Faced Tory Twat. Votáil Sylvia Hermon!

  • Winker Watson

    Dave’s not coming after all. Sighs of relief from the DUP in South Antrim. The intervention of a Norse God saves the flat earthers – perhaps Willie McCrea will write a song about it.

  • chewnicked

    Mike Nesbitt stood up again!!!

  • aquifer

    Cameron might just lower corporation tax here, to prevent UK companies that can stomach the inconvenience of travel to the island relocating to the non-UK part. A lot of big UK companies were looking at relocating to the republic, DC would not want to lose their corporation tax completely, and if they grow faster Tory theology says everyone is better off.

    We could also get a lot of US companies where a flight to the European operation is a flight to Europe, no matter where it lands.

    Foreign Direct Investment in ROI had tailed off as their prices inflated. Competition could end up boosting investment and cooperation throughout the island, and filling some of those one in five empty houses in ROI.

    Our overlarge public sector means the loss of corporation tax would be more easily funded pro rata.

    Lets see if our local politicians can give up their habit of giving alms to the flag waving poor and get everyone rich quick.

  • South Belfast Opinion

    Bradshaw endorses Smyth call for big Unionist turnout

    Paula Bradshaw, the Conservatives and Unionists
    candidate for South Belfast has welcomed the call from Rev Martin Smyth for a big Unionist turnout on Thursday. http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Smyth-calls-for-39big-unionist.6267750.jp

    Paula said;

    “I would like to echo the comments made by the Rev Martin Smyth at the weekend when he said that apathy should not prevail and that it was important that people actually go out and cast their vote for the Union.

    Rev Martin Smyth served South Belfast well for 23 as the local MP and I am seeking to follow in his footsteps.
    I am offering the people of South Belfast the opportunity to vote for a candidate who can maximise the pro-Union vote by appealing to those people who have become disillusioned with politics and politicians. Some will be former Unionist voters who have stopped turning out, others may never have voted Unionist before, but have an attachment to the Union as the best option for Northern Ireland in social, economic and political terms.

    At this Election, the Conservatives and Unionists are offering voters in Northern Ireland the opportunity to engage in National politics, by voting for candidates who have the chance to form part of the next Government. This is real change.

    I believe that I can best represent the wish of the pro-Union people in South Belfast to remain as citizens of the United Kingdom and to enjoy the prosperity and privileges of such citizenship.

    A vote for the Conservatives is a vote to be at the heart of the Union. It is essential that those who value the Union actually turn out to vote for the Union.”

    http://www.voteforchangeni.com/news/press-releases/bradshaw-endorses-smyth-call-for-big-unionist-turnout.php

  • Cynic

    “The UUP is bankrupt” and the DUP isn’t called the Developers Unionist Party for nothing

  • Winker Watson

    Have William McCrea’s prayers been ignored? Cameron arriving in Antrim later today will no doubt frighten McCrea into attending his own political funeral.

  • Pigeon Toes
  • I hacked into a copy of Dave Antony’s speech:

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Rmpey, not to praise him; …

  • Cynic

    My what bile the presence of the Tory leader brings out. Still …. at least it lets us have a day off from hating each other so that’s positive anyway.

    But the simple reality is that UK Plc under Brown has been driven almost as close to bankruptcy as Ireland….and now it has to be put right. So now all the public sector non-jobs have to go, the quangos must be bonfired and local politicians have to take some real decisions and learn to compromise.

    I apologise for the bad language in that last sentence but these are desperate times.

    The political trick will be to get Prods to see it as bringing us closer to GB (share the pain) and Catholics as bringing us close to Ireland (even more of an economic basket case with soaring unemployment). That should do it.

  • Framer

    Belfast Telegraph constituency by constituency poll in today’s paper (taken over a week ago).

    Neck and neck in FST, otherwise Empey just behind in SA, Ritchie galloping home in SD along with McDonnell in SB (Spratt 23% Anna Lo 18% and Bradshaw 15%). Jnr 8% ahead in NA.

  • slug

    From the sample sizes that have been reported the margins of error are about 7% in the *constituency* polls and the data is one week out of date. Useless, really, except at NI totals where margin of error ok but still 1 week out of date.

    Terrible polling effort by BT. Constituency polls are not worth it-just give us 2 or 3 up to date NI-wide polls so we can see the trends over the campaign.

  • Empey or not Empey– that is the question:
    Empey not MP – that is the answer
    Whether ’twas nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
    And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep
    to come second , aye there’s the rub.
    Pilot, PILOT, turn this rig around.

    Sir Reg eMPey (emeritus in waiting)

  • daisy

    I believe Cameron. I don’t think someone seeking to gain the highest office in the land (after Simon Cowell) would just say something he doesn’t mean to appease the voters…

  • Re-engaged

    Whats your second Daisy guessing it is either Duck or Duke…

  • Greenflag

    Dave Cameron is flying in to shore up Reg Empey’s chances and to put the boot into Rodney Connor in FST . I’m sure SF will appreciate his efforts for their candidate in FST 😉

  • Cynic

    This is a poll by a PR Company that does a bit of polling but does not seem to belong to any of the recognised polling professional bodies or, so far as we can tell, apply their normal controls and standards.

    The Company seems to be managed by two people. One does the vox pop on the poll results. The other is a PR consultant who, outside work, defected to the DUP from the UUP and has long been an ardent supporter of Jeffrey Donaldson, recently writing letters to the papers prising him as a wonderful MP from whose fundament light shines on those electors of Lagan Valley who have been sensible enough to vote for him.

    Michael Shilliday analysed all this yesterday with far more style than I ever could.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2010/05/03/inform-communication-and-opinion-polling/

    The polling company now claims a ‘minimum’ of 3% error on the poll but they only interviewed 3200 electors across all 18 constituencies. That’s less than 180 per constituency on average but the poll was weighted to constituency size. On my calculations this means that in a number of key constituencies the poll was of under 150 electors eg just 146 polled in South Belfast. Slug suggests a 7% error on these.I think its much much higher. So much higher that, in my view, while the overall poll may have some statistical validity, the constituency polls are – well – totally unreliable bundles of crap. Even worse the constituencies where the polls are most unreliable are so of the most closely fought – North South and East Belfast, for example.

    The Bel Tel then takes these bundles of crap and follows its normal editorial line against the Unionist / Conservative alliance. They even have managed a ‘supportive’ little piece on poor Lynda Bryans and how Mike Nesbitt running for office has damaged her career prospects. Nice!

    So why is the Bel Tel doing all this? Why is it so resolutely anti-Tory? Perhaps its just reflecting its readership?

    I am compelled to note however that one of the major areas of waste the Tories have announced as targets for cuts is Government advertising in newspapers. At the moment Bel Tel makes a huge amount of money (and charges scandalous rates) for publishing job adverts, consultation exercises, planning and other statutory notices. Nationally the Tories pan to move these on-line and save tens of millions – one might assume that the Government of NI might then want to follow suit at some stage. Or perhaps not?

    Given their close working relationship perhaps Bel Tel will soon employ Inform to help it lobby MLAs to keep the gravy flowing?

  • The Raven

    Nice one, Cynic. Something about lies, damned lies and statistics springs to mind.

    I think I posted elsewhere a couple of weeks ago, that the advertising in newspapers (certainly from Stormont), was around £9m per annum. I am amazed that there is no “government-advertising.com” type site here in NI.

    There’s £9m. Another £2-3m from DPP members allowances. The list is probably endless.

  • Cynic

    They wont do it as they are too dependent on the press for favourable headlines so £9m of our money is a small price to pay

  • Re-engaged

    Maybe its hoping the Guardian will buy it! Anyway why get worked up about it – it’s hardly likely to change the election result.

    Now if they brought back spot the ball I might buy it…

  • Re-engaged

    missing word NAME oops…

  • Has he left yet? He’s due in Scotland shortly.

  • Cynic

    By the way, the Bel Tel has posted these results on its Election 2010 Web Page.

    On the same page are the following headlines that sort of sum up the quality of Tele journalism and depth of its political analysis these days:

    “Disgraced DUP MP Iris Robinson sends love note to Peter”

    “Iris Robinson claimed £1,600 for bed on expenses”

    “Readers of Gay Mag Go Wild for Kirk”

    “Will Kirk McCambley pose nude for Playgirl”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The only people to beneift from this face-saving-I-didnt-mean-to-say-what-I-said visit, apart from the still warm corpse of the UUP, are the Republican dissers who must love his backtracking from the neutrality of the GFA.

    ..and did he tell everyone that he is ready to get into bed with the DUP or does he only share that with a British audience?

  • argosjohn

    Paddy Power has him 20 to 1 on to win. Power has paid out on all bets that Cameron would be the next PM of the neo Nazi state.

  • USA

    Comrade Stalin,
    Good points. I am under the impression that devolved areas within a territory can have a seperate tax rates under EU legislation. But, as you say, any short term losses must be made up locally, which is not an insignificant consideration. I do however, feel it would be in your long term interest to reduce the corporate tax rate. Your point about an internal “tax haven” is also good and would need further discussion. I have noticed that pretty much every political party in the North has come out in favor of reducing the corporate tax rate, with that type of concensus London (and Dublin) could be won over by playing the “peace process card” again. This card is perhaps worth a lot more in the modern age than the “Orange card” ever was.

  • Congal Claen

    It was my understanding that under EU rules Greece can’t be bailed out by other states.

    Lower Corporation tax here will be a good thing. UK companies thinking about moving to Dublin would obviously have to also consider here as company laws, etc would be the same. So, it wouldn’t be a much of a headache for them to move. I’d also imagine some of those already in Dublin may relocate to Belfast. Hardly any workers move after all. Just a paper exercise. But we’d reap the reward of the tax haven status. We could even become the 2nd biggest exporter of software in the world ;0)