Osborne defies local expectations with a £200 million boost

Anyone who has watched the twitter feeds from hashtags like #budget2012, will have noted just how over heated people are getting over a terrible budget coming down the track. That suggests to me that the government is trailing a doom it does not quite intend to deliver.

Something like the trick played by George Osborne today. It was enough to prompt Conor Murphy to issue this doom laden warning this afternoon:

Sammy Wilson’s speculation that measures expected to be taken by George Osborne to stimulate the British economy could cost the Executive block grant another £130 to £150million must be resisted. This is just the latest example of the negative impact of the Executive not having control of its own economic levers.

It turns out that Sammy’s ‘speculation’ was well off the mark. It seems the Chancellor is giving NI another £200 million to spend on infrastructure projects capital.

Which sort of cut Conor off at the pass:

Sammy Wilson’s expectations would seem to confirm our analysis. There are no votes for the Tories here. Therefore the sooner we succeed in having maximum powers transferred into local hands the sooner we can start designing our own fiscal structures and plan our own programmes to address the needs of the people here.

[Ed, cough, don’t mention the water rates!]