Northern Ireland’s public sector expenditure grew by nearly a fifth in last five years

Two blogs well worth reading side by side. First Jude Collins with a thoughtful piece asking whether the trajectory of current Republican thinking is actually yielding significant political capital for nationalism. In particular he makes the essentially moral point that:

Were the northern economy prospering, were the material conditions of all the citizens in the north to be comfortable and getting better, it would still be a sad reflection on our immaturity that we depend on an annual hand-out from London and the control of such matters as taxation and foreign policy from that outside source.

Now clip to Ian Parsley for the striking news that despite all the talk about cuts in Northern Ireland, there simply have not been any (at least in the bald overall figures):

 DFP figures show:

  • in 2009-10, total public expenditure in Northern Ireland was ₤21.8 billion, rising to ₤22.4 billion in 2010-11;
  • in 2009-10, “identifiable” public expenditure in Northern Ireland was ₤18.9 billion, rising to ₤19.2 billion in 2010-11;
  • total public expenditure grew by 24.3% in the period 2006/7 to 2010/11, even though revenue only grew 2.8%.

This is incredible stuff. Over a five year period, public expenditure grew by nearly a fifth, even though revenue barely increased at all.


Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty