Is Northern Ireland really a corporate beggar?

Well, Shane thinks it is. And he said so last Friday on the Nolan Show (50 minutes in, the conversation got hemmed to the news by a more popular item on Barcelona’s bikini ban), and got one caller in favour, and one against. He had a right ding dong with Bumper Graham of Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA). Here’s the heart of his argument:

Northern Ireland is a beggar.

Bumper and his ilk are quite happy spending to their hearts content because ultimately they’re not spending their own money. They’re spending the money of taxpayers in England. To the tune of some £7bn every single year* (for a population the size of a handful of London boroughs).

And let me be clear, as someone born and raised in Northern Ireland who now lives in London and will never return to the province, I feel sickened by the way ‘my country’ comes cap-in-hand; particularly at a time when the people in England have their own financial challenges to contend with.