“Black Thursday” on its way some time between tomorrow and the end of the financial year

So here’s the ‘paradox’: Sinn Fein’s resistance of cuts to the Welfare budget means not only is there a negation of the moderated deal they jointly negotiated with the DUP, but the fines will drop not in the post, but in the bank account on the first day of next year’s financial year.

UPdate: Here’s the text of Liam Clarke’s piece here.

You can pick up the detail here, including an interesting omission from the BBC’s [cough] impartial account which somehow ‘forgets’ to mention that not only Health (the highest spending department) but Education also has been ringfenced.

Adds: John Campbell with a more comprehensive account from the Beeb.

That means that the estimate of a six percent cut could be on the conservative side. With just six months to go, the Treasury is getting anxious…

You have to ask: Is this a cunning plan by Sinn Fein to downsize the public sector by stealth (ie, by getting the DUP/Tories/Enda Kenny the blame)?

, ,

  • chrisjones2

    They would never be so devious. It couldn’t possibly be true and surely the heros of republicanism wouldn’t baulk at some moderately hard decisions.

    And the problem is, if the Assembly is stood down the Prods might demand a higher price to get it back. The narrative of the naughties was getting the Shinners into Politics so all was done to placate them by their natural friends in Labour.

    Arguably they now have far greater need of an Assembly than the DUP who have the Westminster Mud Bath to roll in if needed. indeed, when devolution in the UK is being recast, the DUPS might find it an advantage to be there at the centre negotiating while the Shiners are in the cold especially if Cameron needs votes. Indeed, once we get past Scottish Devolution it looks set for quite strong Tory Governments for a while do the DUPS may see advantage in spinning out any suspension of devolution

    No doubt the DUPs want the Assembly for the kudos salaries and expenses but they also want what they see as a more balanced agreement

    And nobody outside NI really cares about all this so if the Shinners push too far and it falls over, to borrow a phrase from Alex Salmond “What are they going to do? Invade?”

    I dont advocate any of this – but it does have a political logic to DUPPERS

  • Not sure how this is going for SF. Standing up to cuts is fine as a political posture, but won’t help show it up as a responsible partner in Government – which surely is the guts of the southern project. As it has no regard for Stormont, whether or not it collapses is a matter of indifference. The question then arises, what next. Direct rule? Showing that once again a handful of Westminster MPs can do what 14 Ministers a clatter of departmental SPADS, and the excess of Departments is currently not achieving. If it is hard to live within current means, then how on earth would any future structural changes which still had SF at the heart of Government result in any different outcomes? SF does not care about NI or its electorate, and has achieved little that benefits the constituency areas it represents – other than sustain a widespread social dependency on the very State it so despises. Tough to see how this ends well for anyone.

    For sure, the one thing Whitehall should not do is let the locals off taking responsibility for their own decisions. Trim the overall budgets and let the Exec sort out the details. Time to grow up on the Hill.

  • barnshee

    Its all them nasty Brits/Tories fault -they have underfunded the North of Ireland for years so they did– we won`t have so we won`t

    We have SPADS to pay at 70k a year and all sorts of expenses to claim for–the wife and/or son who runs my office— not to mention my salary that is 4 times what I would get on the dole (or the minimum wage job I am qualified for)

    Them Brits will just have to pay up

  • chrisjones2

    It could end up well for all of us if we reform, our economy get people into work and show the shysters we dont need or want them

  • Zeno1

    There are some safe jobs though like the almost 400 people who work for the OFMDFM who have a bigger staff than 10 Downing Street. Considering OFMDFM don’t actually appear to DO ANYTHING that is quite an achievement.

  • Michael Henry

    ” the DUP who have the Westminster Mud bath to roll in if needed “-

    Apart from Leader Robinson who calls the DUP shots- no Assembly and Robbo is out on his arse –

  • Croiteir

    Excellent – the British can no longer afford the place.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Zeno1, that is soooo unfair. They, the staff, advise, a bit like the researchers who support Melvin Bragg in “In our Time”. You don’t think Melvin really knows all those things, do you? Same with Marty and Peader. They look for those most qualified to advise them, ie: people with PhDs who seem to think the way they, Marty and Peader, do but “better” and then use this advise to seem smart when making public statements. The problem is, if the advise given to the FM in contrary to the advise given to the dFM you get stalemate. And very expensive stalemate it is, too!

    And with Pastor McConnell, etc, Peader’s “yes men” ( and women) seem to have gone rather psychedelic.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    A high flyer Lib Dem activist friend of mine in the city kept telling me that “Your friends,” (I think he meant the whole rogues gallery at Stormont, I really hope he did not think the DUPers at Westminster are anything to do with me!) “your friends (there was some wine involved) are a very expensive hobby for us , and they can hardly be called value for money.”

    I think he got on to talking about bringing in the official recievers and trying an asset strip, the only thing stopping them was the possibility there were no assets left…….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And onwards to Mars!!!!!!!

  • Zeno1

    Oh, I thought they were just people who were being paid off to keep quiet and not make a fuss, or murder anyone.

  • Reader

    Who can?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    That’s just those advisors without degrees!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It would be an interesting exercise for anyone to actually fund this place in the real world.

  • Croiteir

    The point being they are finding it hard to afford anything with the economic mess the place is in – they cannot even afford to cut the grass on roadsides around Milton Keynes when I was on visit there last week while the Irish economy turns the corner and returns to Celtic Tiger days

  • chrisjones2

    Its its the old KGB Joke ….what do KGB Men go around in threes ….one to read, one who writes and one to keep an eye on the intellectuals …..

  • chrisjones2

    I know…and there is the pity ….if we could motivate and get leadership in here heaven knows what we could do ……

  • chrisjones2

    There are lots of assets

    1 one Parliament Building (heavily soiled) Make decent hotel

    2 Large site at Maze with listed shrine. Slightly bloodstained. Haunted by ghosts of those who weren’t told a deal was on offer and died for votes not freedom

    3 Ministerial car fleet. Rear seats heavily polished

    4 One tin cash box (empty)

    5 Collection of industrial sites – semi derelict

    6 Dreams of a generation slightly squashed from having been sat on by political leaders

    Its just that some of them aren’t worth very much

  • Reader

    ‘GDP per head’ isn’t the answer, if that’s what you are getting at: ‘GDP’ is the answer. Especially since all entities concerned are running a deficit.

  • Croiteir

    Who, apart, from you mentioned GDP? and what, incidentally, would be the answer? ( perhaps the question that prompted the answer should also be defined)

  • Zeno1


    Obviously you know better.

    Oh by the way 2015 is the year when Ireland have to start paying back the bail out loans, just in case you thought that 80 odd billion had disappeared.

  • Zeno1

    Nope ,He will join the House of Lords. Lord Peter of the Brown Envelope.

  • Croiteir

    I take it you actually read the article beyond the bits you liked, with more caveats than an investment ad it is worthless, I am dealing with the here and now, not some think tanks suppositions based on so many variables that make it worthless.
    The loans are also an indicator of how bullish the Irish economy is. The Irish government has just got approval of its plan to restructure anlaons early. Hardly the actions of a govt that was worried about its ability to pay.
    Whereas the deficit in Britain’s trade deficit has consistently worsened and due to the strength of sterling I do not see that ending anytime soon. Britain is surviving on debt. The Public Sector Net Debt rising again this year is not indicative of a country that is managing its finances.

  • Reader

    OK, to recap. You suggested that the UK couldn’t afford Northern Ireland. I queried who could. You suggested that Ireland was looking healthy. I indicated that the Irish economy (GDP) wasn’t up to the job.
    Basically, if the 26 counties find 10billion a year for NI, then their living standards will take a big hit. If they don’t find any, then the NI living standards will collapse utterly. At any point in between the pain will be shared.
    Whereas the UK, with a far larger economy, can still find 10 billion a year down the back of the sofa in spite of the current financial problems.