There’s been much public posturing from the two main [mandatory] coalition parties here following comments by the Northern Ireland First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, about the expected cuts in public expenditure.
Mark Devenport tells us that
DUP sources reckon there’s a difference between the public line being pushed in Sinn Fein’s news releases and what they are hearing in private from their counterparts in the Executive.
Assembly sources have made clear that preparations for budget reductions are ongoing within all departments, including those with Sinn Fein ministers. The party’s non co-operation stance appears to be mainly limited to not giving the Department of Finance documentation on spending priorities.
Ministers from all parties did take part in a special “away day” discussion on cutback options in July at Greenmount College near Antrim.
Will they be stamping their little feet all the way to the next election?