In practice because of the funding straightjacket, welfare is not devolved to Holyrood, Cardiff Bay or Stormont. So are the objections to the new universal credit in both Holyrood and Stormont any more than political grandstanding? Differential welfare payments make little or no sense without extensive tax raising powers. And there is no sign of Stormont wanting the responsibility of creating a small tax base apart from Westminster. Not even from Sinn Fein.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London