Mickey Brady: Why Welfare cuts must be opposed

As the debate continues on over welfare reform, Sinn Fein MLA and Deputy Chairman of the DSD Committee, Mickey Brady, writes for Slugger about why proposed cuts should be opposed.

The Tory-led coalition has sought to sell welfare cuts on the false premise of Strivers verses Skivers.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The cuts agenda will affect low-income working families, people with disabilities, those who cannot find employment because there are no jobs available, the young and the most disadvantaged within our society.

We are not dealing with a welfare reform programme – we are witnessing a concerted attempt to undermine and eventually dismantle the welfare state in favour of an American style free market system.

Sinn Féin has stated its position very clearly. We reject this attack on the most vulnerable in our society.

Unionists can’t depend on the DUP to protect them from the Tory cuts agenda.  Their pursuit of power means that they are intent on getting into bed with the Tories at the expense of the working-class communities they claim to represent.

They have acted with contempt for their own electorate, claiming to be against the cuts while arguing for their imposition.  They are prepared to decimate the living standards of the people who elected them at the bidding of a cabinet of millionaires.

Sinn Féin will fight welfare cuts because it is the right thing to do. We are of the view that the Executive parties should stand together against welfare cuts being imposed by a cabinet, which we did not elect.

All three main British parties have shown that they can offer significant extra powers to Scotland in terms of spending, taxation, health service and crucially welfare. This makes a mockery of the so-called parity principle where we are told Westminster governs all welfare and taxation decisions.

The pledge signed by the leaders of the three main British parties in relation to Scotland is evidence that the economic challenges faced by the Executive can be overcome if we present a united front.

It places the one size fits all cuts agenda in the farcical category. Threats that if we do not agree to Tory driven welfare cuts, we will be penalised is undermined by the Tory’s own offers to Scotland.

If Unionist parties want to inflict these devastating cuts on working-class unionists as well as on the rest of us, then they should bring the legislation onto the floor of the Assembly. They can then explain their support for Tory cuts.

All those elected by the people should have the opportunity to fully debate their position on these cuts and to vote on this bill.

We will defend and stand with the working class-communities that the Tories are targeting.

If Mervyn Storey, on behalf of the DUP refuses to bring the Bill to the floor of the Assembly then the only other option is to put it directly to the people in an election. Sinn Féin has no fear of an election.

Cracks are already appearing in the Westminster Coalition with Liberal Democrats joining with the Labour Party in a revolt against the Bedroom Tax.  Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Rachel Reeves is on record saying: “What we have seen so far is a huge waste of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and endless delays to the project.”

Westminster Public Accounts Committee claims as of November last year, £425m – the majority of which it expects to be wasted has been spent on the roll-out of Universal Credit.

These millions of taxpayers’ money have been wasted, with less than 16,000 people on the Universal Credits system despite claims that a million would be on it by April 2014. Even Tory Minister Francis Maude, has said that the roll out was, ‘lamentable’.

If the Unionist parties – including Alliance – succeed in imposing the Tory cuts agenda, the impact locally will mean:

242,000 families here will have their child benefit cut;

All families in receipt of working or child tax credits will lose benefits;

66,000 people unable to work due to illness or disability will lose on average £3,500 a year;

Disabled people usually rely on several benefits and are therefore more liable to be hit by more than one cut – in some cases by four or five;

Families with disabled children currently receive an extra £54 per week from child tax credit, but that will be reduced by half when universal credit is introduced: about £1,400 a year for a family with a disabled child;

£750 million a year will be lost to the 6-county economy with devastating consequences for SMEs and suppliers.

Under the presently proposed Benefit Cap some 640 households and 3,120 children will be driven into poverty, losing £1.7m per annum.  If the Tories are returned after next year’s election and Cameron fulfils his threat to reduce the benefits cap even further from £26,000 to £23,000 it will affect hundreds more households, increase hardship and drive more people deeper into poverty with the devastating knock-on effect the reduction in disposable income will have for the local economy.

Make no mistake about it; the cuts agenda will have ramifications far beyond those depending on benefits. It will negatively impact on every family and business in the North.

, , , , , ,

  • OK, so the bold Mickey opposes the cuts. Fine. So when the old system which manages the current benefits system is switched off how exactly will Stormont manage and distribute funds then, and how much will that cost? Not standing by the northern command’s agreement on benefits, which Dear Leader Gerry has kiboshed, also has consequences which I don’t see discussed above. Or is Connolly House just sitting that one out and hoping someone from Dublin lets them know before it all goes tits up?

  • barnshee

    Please explain (as an old boss used to say)

    1 Why NI should receive more in state support than it pays in tax ( the excuse- we murdered and blew the arse out of it has passed its sell by date)
    2 Why SF/DUP won`t raise more from Rates/ Water Rates

  • Morpheus

    You see many talking about the consequences if the cuts are imposed? Anything from our political leaders that shows they have anything even close to a plan in place? Anything from the greatest show in the country? Anything from the blogosphere? BBC? UTV? Why do you think that is?

    Typical Northern Ireland…an issue which will affect everyone – especially low income working families with children regardless of religious beliefs or political allegiances – and we manage to turn it into a political football. Again.

  • Old Mortality

    He evidently thinks a tax-free income of £26,000 is inadequate. Anyone in work would need to earn at least £33,000 pa to achieve the same net income, more than £630pw which implies a minimum wage of £15 something an hour. That must be getting uncomfortably close to ‘the average industrial wage’.

  • Morpheus

    For goodness sake, do you any idea how many people in Northern Ireland would be impacted by that cap?

    One.

    One person.

    In the whole of Northern Ireland.

    One.

    This report is from 2012 but I don’t think too many would be impacted today by it either. Or have you got something which suggests otherwise?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/cameron-benefits-cap-will-affect-just-one-person-in-northern-ireland-28710365.html

  • Jag

    “If Mervyn Storey, on behalf of the DUP refuses to bring the Bill to the floor of the Assembly then the only other option is to put it directly to the people in an election. Sinn Féin has no fear of an election.”

    So, GA predicts an early Stormont election. MB says above an early election is the only option (he actually says “only other option” but since the DUPers won’t be bringing a Bill anywhere near the floor of Stormont, it’s practically the “only option”). MMG merely says an early election isn’t inevitable.

    Looks to me like Stormont will fall in next 10 days (no-one wants a December election, the issue won’t really wait much longer). Just you wait and see what the all-Ireland SFer election machine can now do!

  • Morpheus

    The Welfare Bill is still at Consideration stage having completed the Committee stage 20 months ago :

    http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Legislation/Primary-Legislation-Current-Bills/Welfare-Reform-Bill/

    Anyone know if it is even legal to implement it without Royal Assent?

  • Reader

    So Mickey Brady was just scaremongering when he said that hundreds would be affected by the new and proposed benefit caps?
    Or perhaps Mickey’s figures apply to the whole UK? (unlikely from a Shinner, I would have thought).
    Mickey – could you clarify please? Do your figures apply to the 6 counties or to the UK as a whole? What do you say to Morpheus’ suggestion that virtually no-one here will actually be affected by this cut?

  • Michael Henry

    ” 1 Why NI should receive more in state support than it pays in tax “-

    1-We are being told what to spent by the Tory leaders who seek no Votes here during Westminster elections- they don’t want a mandate here- well it’s going to cost them- and we want more and more- why should we care what non vote Tory’s think-

    ” 2-Why SF / DUP won’t raise more from Rates / Water Rates “-

    2- the DUP would clean everyone up in Rates and paying for our water twice or thrice if big daddy Cameron threatened them enough- just look at how they crumbled under the Welfare cuts-No-if we have to listen to un elected Tory’s over here then they should foot the bills-if they don’t want to foot the bills then allow the people the vote to remove them in a border poll- and they will have no more worries –

  • Alan N/Ards

    Michael, I was under the impression that the Tories put up candidates for elections in NI.

  • Reader

    Well, if the Republic of Ireland promises to maintain both welfare spending and public sector jobs and salaries, then the poll might actually be interesting.
    Until that condition is met then the current row makes it quite clear that Sinn Fein in particular has other fish to fry – they are far more concerned with maintaining British public spending than with making Northern Ireland more affordable to the Republic.

  • GEF

    Those who are unfortunate enough to be on disability benefit can expect the following: The government (Tory or Labour) at Westminster hopes to save £28. 3 billion by 2018

    5 Welfare reform changes affecting disabled people
    https://www.unison.org.uk/upload/sharepoint/On%20line%20Catalogue/21709.pdf

  • Morpheus

    Found this:

    http://education.niassembly.gov.uk/post_16/the_work_of_the_assembly/making_legislation/bill_act

    Since The Welfare Bill is still at Consideration Stage and at this stage:

    MLAs debate the Committee’s report, including proposed amendments, in the Assembly Chamber. Individual MLAs can also suggest amendments at this stage.

    Does Mervyn Storey have a choice not to take it to the Assembly?

    The last bit is interesting:

    “Royal Assent – After going through all its stages in the Assembly, a Bill must receive Royal Assent before it can become an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Secretary of State, who represents Northern Ireland in the UK Government, asks the Queen to approve the Bill. This is a formal process where the Queen agrees to make the Bill into a law. After the Bill receives Royal Assent, the Speaker announces this at the next plenary sitting of the Assembly. The Bill is now an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The enacted law may come into effect at once, or after a period of time”

  • Morpheus

    Could it be that Paisley was talking out of his backside?

    I found this FOI from 2012 that has the number of UK households in this category at 67,000 effecting 200,000 children

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/221238/foi-551-2012.pdf

    My apologies Old Mortality

  • Comrade Stalin

    It doesn’t matter if the DUP bring a bill to the assembly; the Shinners and SDLP will vote it down using a petition of concern.

    The all-Ireland SF election machine, as you call it, will at best deliver the same 26.9% of the vote that it delivered in 2011 – it is likely that their vote will decline, even if just slightly, in line with trends observed in the European and local elections.

    An election will accomplish nothing and prove nothing.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Anyone bringing a bill forward could withdraw it at any time.

    The British government cannot enact assembly legislation or enact laws that interfere with issues under the assembly’s jurisdiction. But they can certainly pass laws to prorogue the assembly, and they can easily deny it funding.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes, let’s have a united Ireland. There we will all pay :

    – the new water charges
    – bin collection charges
    – doctor bills – €50 for a GP consultation
    – private health insurance
    – 23% VAT

    Are you sure about all that ?

  • OneNI

    Mickey Brady’s argument and some of the comments are based on an entirely false premise – the idea that NI can ‘argue’ with the UK Govt ‘against’ welfare reform.
    Welfare is entirely devolved – we can have or own welfare system – we just have to pay for it.
    Sinn Fein’s position is pathetic – they are saying they want NI to retain the old welfare system but that English taxpayers should pay for it!
    BTW How many local party mainfestos in the last ten or so years brought forward ANY proposals on welfare reform? Yep none

  • Comrade Stalin

    An honest person who believes that welfare spending should be higher would be proposing tax increases to pay for it. If the Shinners at least said that the rates should go up in order to pay for increased welfare costs, they would be being honest.

  • OneNI

    Tired posting this. The Coalition parties won 59% of the vote at the GE in the UK (the state recognised by allparties in GFA).
    SF got 0.5%. Conservative and Unionist candidates standing on the Conservative manifesto with Cameron all over their literature got over 100,000 votes.
    SF has no mandate to tell UK Govt what the limits of public expenditure are. SF are free to push for separate welfare system but have to say how it will be paid for.
    NI Assembly is not an independent govt it is subject to Westminster decisions.
    BTW the water element of your rates accounts for about one third of what is needed to pay for water. The other two thirds (approx. £200m) is taken from Health, Education, etc.
    Border poll? Latest Opinion poll says Unionists outnumber those who would vote for United Ireland now by nearly 10 to 1

  • Tacapall

    Yeap whenever we hear the DUP complaining about the £1 million a month cost of Camp Twaddle paid for by the same taxpayer then we can all start pointing fingers, until then, so what, who cares.

  • OneNI

    If SF were serious they could say that they wanted NI to forego the increase in the Basic Income tax allowance and use that to offset the costs of keeping the old welfare system – but then their voters would see through them

  • Michael Henry

    Yes let the people decide what’s the best way to go forward Comrade- your vote will count as one the same as the rest of us-

  • Michael Henry

    You should have called up the Unionists at the time of the GFA to put those new pre- conditions in Reader- but you never- and they never- bit late now-

  • Michael Henry

    Who was the Tory’s candidate’s in the last Westminster elections here Alan-the Tory’s are as democratic as ISIS-

  • Michael Henry

    Sinn Fein are a All Ireland party-with a mandate in All Ireland- yet you keep bringing up UK -let’s have a poll and bury your 10 to 1 in the back garden-

  • Dan

    Until there are consequences paid by the electorate for the pathetic politics of the parties here, most especially Sinn Fein, nothing will change.
    I sincerely hope the Government holds firm and offers not a penny more, and implements as many fines as it possibly can,
    Then, and only then, when those who have comfortable lifestyles, paid for by the hated Brits, might just have pause for thought about whom they give their vote.

  • Peter Wattage

    I agree from an ideological standpoint however that isn’t the world we live in, a pragmatic approach is required at times. Sinn Fein seem to miss that point.

    NI already has the best welfare deal in the UK and a SF tactic to simply stand their ground will result in fines and the proposed cuts. Westminster cannot concede their austerity agenda at this point; if they did concede to SF how would Wales, Scotland or England react?

    SF do not fear elections, their overwhelming base is pro-united Ireland, I can’t see them losing many votes at all despite when they continue to ignore reform and essentially impose £90m of cuts in fines.

    Again, I am pro welfare state but this isn’t the approach to take.

  • Morpheus

    The 1980’s called, they said they want their clichés back.

    In case it has slipped your notice this has feck all to do with religion or political allegiance – these cuts will hit everyone regardless of who or what they believe in. Low income families with children will be hit hardest, remember that

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’d ask you for what your opinion is Michael but we both know you don’t have one.

  • Dan

    The cuts will hit everyone because everyone is having to pay the price of nationalist determination to ensure some of its feckless welfare sponging electorate is able to continue to scam as much from the Brits as possible.

  • Morpheus

    Makes me wonder, what was the point creating the bill in the first place if it never mattered what was debated or decided by our elected officials as there was already a pre-determined outcome.

  • Old Mortality

    No Morpheus. You’d probably have to be severely disabled with a large brood. I was simply trying to show the absurdity of that particular line of argument.

  • Morpheus

    Just had another call from the 1970s…I think you know the rest. 🙂

    You do realize that those on welfare are both nationalist and unionist, right? You do realize that the cuts will hit Sammy from The Shankill as hard as they hit Sean from The Falls, right?

    Here’s a quote from The Ulster Unionist’s Michael Copeland:

    “The demographic that will be the most seriously affected is not the scroungers, even though they do not really exist, or the unemployed; it is low-paid working families with children

    It’s 2014 Danno, come join us

  • Morpheus

    No, turns out Paisley was talking out his ass – and by extension, so was I for quoting him.. My apology is below.

  • Old Mortality

    How far would £1m a month stretch on the social security budget?

  • Dan

    It’s not the unionist parties who are refusing to implement the reforms though, that’s the preserve of those who have no interest in a NI living within its means….ie, SF and sdlp.

  • Morpheus

    Yeah, they want to implement massive cuts with absolutely no idea of the impact on the people they were elected to represent because a bunch of multi-millionaire Tories, most of whom will never set foot in Northern Ireland, made a manifesto pledge to win votes from a bunch of people, most of whom will never set foot in Northern Ireland.

    SCORE!

    But well done, you have managed to sectarianise an issue which doesn’t give a crap what religion you are. Take a look at the chart at the bottom of this thread showing the impact on child poverty over the next 6 years, see the way religion doesn’t come into it?

    As I said, it’s 2014, come join us but leave all that obvious hatred in your heart for people you don’t even know back where it belongs eh?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The reason is as follows.

    When devolution went ahead, the British government agreed with the NI devolved administration that it would not be workable to allocate a single block grant for everything, as this could result in different welfare systems in different parts of the country.

    So they came up with a separate agreement that said that the British would fund welfare on top of the block grant. Any changes to funding, increases or decreases, would be met by the Treasury and would not come out of the NI block grant. In addition, the IT systems would run out of London. In exchange, when welfare changes are made in London, the NI executive is expected to put the enabling legislation through the Assembly. This is a pretty good deal for Northern Ireland as we have a higher proportion of welfare claimants than anywhere else.

    It is that agreement which is now falling apart. This is where the fines are coming from; because even with the cuts, London are still subsidizing welfare to an extent over and above what would be funded if it were calculated as part of the overall block grant.

    It was always an option for the NI executive to terminate that deal at any time and fund welfare provision out of its Barnett allocation. But that would simply be handing money back to Westminster.

    That’s why SF’s course of action here is foolhardly. In trying to fight a battle they’re going to lose the war.

  • Reader

    Pre-conditions? Hardly – it’s the United-Ireland referendum bribe/promise I’m talking about. The bribe/promise that doesn’t exist. That’s the reason a referendum would be a waste of time, however much pain and chaos SF can cause in the next month or the next year.
    It’s your problem that this promise doesn’t exist in the GFA.

  • I see Sinn Fein, in this case the by-line says Mickey Brady, are quoting the estimated figures from the NICVA commissioned paper as ‘fact’ without proper attribution.

    Well, I assume that’s what he’s doing and not just pulling it out of his ass. Although…

    That’s not even an agreed analysis or estimate, never mind accepted fact.

    And we’ve seen criticism of the NICVA approach on here recently too.

    Perhaps it’s just a ‘fun fact’, à la Dave Gorman…

    Because, if the savings to the UK Treasury from implementing welfare reform here was, actually, £750million a year, then the Treasury have got their sums very badly wrong indeed!

    As for the expensive nonsense being promoted, again, that we just have to hold out for the next UK Government!

    Well, we know what the other parties have said about that too.

    Here’s the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, responding to McGuinness’ “personal appeal” again

    It is understood that Mr McGuinness made a personal appeal to the Liberal Democrat leader at a meeting of the British Irish Council in Guernsey in June.

    He told the Deputy Prime Minister that since the British Government had got us into our present difficulties by introducing welfare reform, it would have to get us out of them.

    Mr Clegg gives short shrift to this suggestion in the letter, a copy of which has been obtained by the Belfast Telegraph. Referring to the Guernsey meeting he writes: “I am afraid there is no possibility of further negotiations on additional changes to these reforms.”

    He outlines plans for Universal Credit, a new super benefit. In Britain it will replace six existing benefits including Jobseekers Allowance, Tax Credits, Income Support and Housing Benefit.

    He states that if we do not adopt it then the cost of maintaining the benefits it replaces “need to become the sole responsibility of Northern Ireland”.

    Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis

    The disagreement, said [Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis], is “a denial” of the agreements devolving powers to Stormont that UK Westminster-passed welfare reform would be enforced in NI, or else there would be financial penalties.

    “Making no progress on welfare has financial implications. It is not a cost-free choice: the impact on health, ducation and other frontline services is going to become extremely challenging,” he said.

    His remarks, made alongside SDLP leader Alisdair McDonnell and Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey at a breakfast held by the NI peace and reconciliation group, CHAMP, provoked the irritation of both of them.

    “Good leadership is mobilising your own supporters and your own base and delivering on bread-and-butter issues,” said Mr Lewis, “Great leadership is about being willing to walk in the shoes of your former foes.

    “It is also sometimes being willing to say really tough things to your own supporters. That’s great leadership. What NI desperately needs at the moment is great leadership.”

    Lemmings, indeed.

  • Tacapall

    Add in the cost of policing the flag protests, 3000 + orange order parades, clean up costs and repairs to public and private property caused by loyalist bonfires that would probably bring the total to £200 million too, but like I said does unionism care I dont think so.

  • Zig70

    You missed out the higher wages, reduced rates bill and higher dental costs. If you look at it the two states are similar in cost of living.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think you mean they’re similar in living standards. The absolute cost of living in the RoI is considerably higher on every single metric – everything is more expensive.

    I don’t know what you mean by dental costs – are you saying they’re lower than NHS dental rates in NI ? I doubt that very much. I recently paid £38 for a private checkup including an X ray.

    Among the other things I missed out on :

    – the upper income tax rate kicks in earlier in the RoI (if you earn over EUR45000 or so, you’ll pay more income tax in the RoI than in NI; below that, the tax is lower)
    – higher road tax for cars; no zero-rated cars IIRC
    – broadband provision sucks
    – mobile phones and landlines are both more expensive than NI
    – tolls on major national roads

    I’m not saying life in the RoI is worse (I’d be perfectly happy there myself) but SF are going around saying we shouldn’t be paying these charges, without mentioning that as part of a RoI we’d be nickle and dimed all over the place.

  • Gopher

    I think SF believe since straight nationalism has a fading interest with regards turnout they hope a melodramatic and cliched position against economic cuts might resonate with the faithful and motivate an increased turnout. The recent success in the South on an anti cut platform will try to be replicated up here. Expect to be tired hearing the word Tory in lieu of any rational point before long. That unilateral petition of concern is the goal. SF are coupling the “economic” (sic) strategy with now fully being onboard with the shrink Stormont movement to squeeze what is left out of the SDLP. The next round of talks which will certainly agree that shrinkage will negotiate the SDLP out of existence at assembly level

  • Dixie Elliott

    The Scarecrow didn’t have one either….

  • tmitch57

    Yes, but when they speak in Stormont or hold a press conference in the Falls or Andersontown they are in the UK.

  • Ian James Parsley

    There is the additional issue of how it is, fully four and half years after the Conservative-led coalition came to power with this policy (ahem, “agenda”), Sinn Fein has only noticed all this now.

    For four years, Sinn Fein has been in government in Northern Ireland knowing this was coming down the line and done absolutely nothing to prepare for it. No research of its own for an alternative (who knew the current system was perfect?!); no plans for the inevitable financial consequences of breaking parity; no thought as to how we might afford the administrative costs of running our own system.

    But who needs responsible government when you can just wheel out daft meaningless slogans, eh?

  • Dan

    Not sure anyone ‘wanted’ to implement the laughably named ‘cuts’, but having reached a deal, they were prepared to do so.
    The two sectarian nationalist/ republican parties ran away from that deal.
    Spare us the tedious guff about Tory multi millionaires.

  • Michael Henry

    Three areas where the UK Tory government will be to scared to ask for the Peoples vote next year-the Tory’s don’t see it as part of their land- so much for the UK government-

  • Morpheus

    I would suggest that if you have a problem with the analysis of Professor Beatty and Professor Fothergill you should take it up with them at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University Mister Baker.

    We’ll set aside the fact that NICVA have rejected John Simposon’s analysis and have as recently as 2 days ago said they stand by the figures and go straight to asking you to confirm the real figure and what our plans are to mitigate the loss.

    Let’s look at Simon Hamilton’s analysis shall we…oh wait, there is none. Let’s read the debates between our elected officials about the Welfare Bill from the assembly…oh wait, they didn’t happen. But our First Minister, the leader of the country, surely knows what the impact will be on the people he was elected to represent, especially the impact on the low-income working families with children who will be hit hardest…oh wait, he has no idea.

    Indeed.

  • Morpheus

    Laughable eh? Again I draw your attention to the impact on child poverty below and again emphasise that the chart makes no reference to religion or political persuasion – poverty doesn’t give a crap. Is it laughable that there has been a 163% increase in food bank usage across the UK in the last year?

    I’ll tell you what is laughable though:

    “…some of the reforms across the water have been shambolic. Universal credit was expected to be rolled out by the end of 2017. As of last month, 11,070 households were receiving universal credit. The policy in GB is clearly failing, and I see nothing to reinforce the view that it will do anything other than fail here. DWP is 986,740 short of the original target of moving one million people to universal credit by April. In fact, Iain Duncan Smith also missed his own revised and much downgraded target of 184,000. Given that there are currently 11,000 claimants, welfare reform is not working well there either.” M Copeland, Ulster unionist Party

    Out of curiosity how does it make you feel that the only people taking a stand on behalf of low income working Protestant families with children and the Protestant people who have disabilities etc are nationalists?

  • Zig70

    Dental costs in the south are way higher. Some dentists here make a good living shipping folks up from Dublin on the train.

  • Dan

    the cost of nationalist cowardice, or ‘taking a stand’ as you put it, is being paid by everyone in NI.

  • Morpheus

    It would have been incredible easy not to put up a fight and simply roll over so cowardice it ain’t.

    Are the people of Northern Ireland not worth a fight?

  • NMS

    Michael, But Northern Ireland is not part of the Irish State and never will be. Let us have a poll because the majority of people in Ireland will reject the idea of subsidising lots of lazy Northerners.

    SF will have to come to terms with the funding of UKNI within the context of the UK & UKNI

  • Dan

    It’s cowardice when the discussions were had and then they hadn’t the balls to implement the deal reached.

    The people of NI aren’t the priority of the nationalist parties.

  • Morpheus

    Peace Centre and the letter from America spring to mind?

    It makes me smile that you think you are any sort of authority on the priorities of the nationalist parties considering the tripe you have written above.

  • Reader

    Morpheus:
    I would suggest that if you have a problem with the analysis of Professor Beatty and Professor Fothergill you should take it up with them at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University Mister Baker.

    Did you enjoy the juicy bit in the NICVA report about DLA (Derry Living Allowance) and Incapacity Benefit? Comparing it with the regional comparisons above it, it looks like NI is disproportionately hit almost entirely because of the regional disparity in claims for those two benefits.
    Which seems fair enough…

  • Morpheus

    Am I detecting that you have an issue with Doctors and their ability – or inability as the case may be – to correctly diagnose?

  • Dan

    Smile away. You’ve nothing else

  • NMS

    Michael, Sinn Féin could participate in the UK Parliament and try to influence UK policy, rather than complain about. It is also open to them to stand candidates in other parts of the UK, not just UKNI. Their failure to take their seats, but not the expenses, is of course just an excuse for not taking responsibility.

    Why are the British Conservative party undemocratic when they stand for election and take their seats, i.e. participate in democracy, while the Provos do not participate. (Let us not even mention all those people they murdered.)

  • Morpheus

    Dude, you are wrapped up in a neat little bow because all you have is bluster and bollix which is not based in fact.

    You are done.

  • Reader

    Take it up with NICVA and the professors. Did you actually read the report?

  • barnshee

    “well it’s going to cost them- and we want more and more- why should we care what non vote Tory’s think-”

    Translates as “reach me down the moon daddy”

    The Brits have the major purse strings -SF/DUP (and uncle Tom Cobbley and all in government) have a few -local rates -potential water charges? they are unwilling to use them for fear of electoral reaction

    Daddy has closed his wallet— how exactly are the ahem “local representatives” in “Stormoant” going to get it open ? Invade GB?

    Pigeons have come home to roost.

    (Remember Governments don`t have any money its all taxpayers money largely squandered by Governments – I see the MLAs are getting an 11% pay rise– says it all)

  • BarrelOfPorter

    “Holding out for the next UK government” may indeed be part of it. I’d suggest also holding out for SF playing a part in a coalition government in the Republic may also.

    Hungry people, or at least skint, angry people suit the SF agenda well. few, if any in the nationalist/republican demographic will see them as being responsible. Rather, they’ll look at the punitive measures taken by the “old enemy” and decide that the devil is not dead.

    If, in about 2 years time, a position can be engineered in which the economically lower third of the population over the border look a lot happier than their peers here…. Well, maybe Leinster House will offer food aid. 😉

  • Morpheus

    Take what up with the Professors? It was a simple question.

  • Dan

    I’ll let you content yourself in believing your own nonsense.

  • Reader

    If you are upset that someone may be hinting that doctors are doing wee favours for patients with no jobs and little social capital, then take it up with the authors of the report. It’s nothing to do with me.
    My own opinion is irrelevant, and should be of no interest to you, as I am not a professor.

  • Morpheus

    WTF are you talking about man? It was you who started waffling about the Derry Living Allowance. I asked you if you have an issue with Doctors and their ability – or inability as the case may be – to correctly diagnose. You told me to ask the Professors???

    If you have something to say then say it.

  • Old Mortality

    Tac
    I think your figure of £200m is somewhat fanciful since the great majority of OO parades require only minimal policing such as traffic control.
    On this subject, can I commend to you Old Mortality’s Law which is that one should always start with the presumption that all public services (especially in NI) tend to place the interests of their employees ahead of the public they serve. Hence, you can be sure that the PSNI will not be seeking to police the Twaddell protest as cheaply as possible, not when there is so much overtime to be earned sitting in the back of an armoured Land Rover playing with your mobile device for a few hours. I’d say if you went up there this evening, you’d find the police outnumbering the protesters by a considerable margin.

  • Michael Henry

    Good to see you agreeing with me NHS- let’s have the poll- then if that fails we can have another poll a few years later- on and on it could go till there is a yes vote-

    If the terms of the funding are to make Welfare cuts so the Brits can build more bombs you can go and take a hike –

  • Comrade Stalin

    I had heard that.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think you’re right about what SF believe.

    The SDLP are proving surprisingly resilient.

  • toker

    SF are playing politics they know it will hurt them in the south if they agree to any cuts in the north as they are on a populist anti austerity platform which has failed miserably as Hollande has shown in France.
    Unionists may have friends in Irish govt FG and Labour have implemented these tough austerity packages and know that in this age it is unfortunately the only solution they ,both will want to see SF agree to cuts especially Labour as they will try to attack them from Left and it will weaken SF in election. I think SF regarding South are in a catch 22 situation if they don’t agree to solution in north they will be in a weaker position, What Mickey has said that they have are free mkt fundamentalist is hyperbole similar to DUP attacks that SF are Marxists.

  • Old Mortality

    There is very little detail in the NICVA report as to how its conclusions were reached. However, sickness benefits on their figures account for £350m of the £750m total which is purely the result of NI having an outrageously high number of people claiming these benefits. If you think 198,000 claims for DLA are entirely genuine, then you will agree wholeheartedly with the NICVA figures, if not, you will allow that a significant number of these claims should never have been allowed. They’ve risen by 14% over the last six years which is puzzling since you would think that genuine claimants should be more likely to die than the able-bodied population.

  • Old Mortality

    I have no particular issues with the ability of doctors to diagnose correctly, However, I have ‘issues’ with their willingness to diagnose correctly in all circumstances,particularly where the claimed ailment is of a psychiatric nature.
    It is also a fact that DLA claimants tend to be concentrated in certain areas which might be described as ‘difficult’ which might well discourage GPs from being less than compliant.
    I might be completely wrong of course, if claimants for incapacity benefits are automatically referred for an independent medical assessment over which the GP has no influence.
    If, on the other hand, DLA is awarded on the testimony of a GP alone, I’m not surprised that it has turned into an epidemic.

  • Croiteir

    Yes they do, and SF agreed when it agreed to the GFA. Suck it up.