NI Finance Minister: “they are probably delaying or seeking to delay the whole process of trying to make a budget.”

The BBC reports Northern Ireland Finance Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, criticism of today’s protest in Belfast by the trade unions.

…Mr Wilson said unions were “giving false hope to people that somehow or other by holding placards they can avoid these financial choices”.

He also accused the unions of using the cuts to gain political clout.

“In doing so, they are probably delaying or seeking to delay the whole process of trying to make a budget.”

And the NI Executive’s ‘protest’, Sammy?

The Irish News‘ political correspondent, Diana Rusk, has the [anonymous] quote of the day

As one executive source wryly put it: “There is a range of views, from Sammy Wilson wanting to cut everything to Sinn Féin wanting everyone to go on a sponsored walk against the cuts.”

And Diana Rusk’s article ends with this pertinent point

But our time-travelling politicians, tempted to oppose the cuts outright, blame everything on Whitehall and stall on a budget, face another dilemma.

“The difficulty is that they are going to have to cooperate because if they don’t we will have gridlock and that is one thing they need to avoid ahead of an election,” Dr [Alistair] Clark says.

“It’s fairly clear people are sceptical of the ability of politicians to agree and if there is no way forward on this, or a mood that somehow they have avoided making decisions, it will just feed their scepticism.

“And that will add to voter apathy.”

And we know just how sceptical the public already is.