Making stand against one set of cuts only for it to be replaced with something worse


Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 08.33.10Nicely put by Newton Emerson in Saturday’s Irish News. If kids from Northern Ireland are leaving, it isn’t because of public sector austerity. Compared to other places Northern Ireland has been feather-bedded in this regard.

In the Republic the Haddington Road agreement has overseen agreed cuts in public wages in an effort to save jobs, and a recruitment freeze has helped preserve the jobs of those already in public sector employment, whilst casting huge shadow over the employment prospects of those leaving school or college.

In England, councils have slowly been stripped of their capacity to shape local economies and under Thatcherite initiative of Eric PIckles has drastically cut local authority’s outspend on charities and other civil society actors to deliver services that no longer exist.

Here’s the thing. The preferential deal first negotiated and then very publicly disowned by Sinn Fein Making a stand is one thing. Making one whilst holding the office which is ultimately responsible for this omnishambles is quite another.  And making stand against one set of cuts only for it to replaced with something worse, is a class of 1984/5 NUM style leadership…



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  • MainlandUlsterman

    Could SF really be so cynical as to collapse Stormont, bringing in a direct rule administration that would have to implement cuts and then point at it and say ‘Look at what the Brits are doing to us?’ Well, its testament to their reputation that you certainly wouldn’t put it past them. They really think the electorate are fools.

  • Bryan Magee

    “The preferential deal first negotiated and then very publicly disowned by Sinn Fein”

    Is this Northern Sinn Féin being slapped down and told what to do by their Southern political masters in Leinster House, who are not accountable to the NI electorate?

  • “The preferential deal first negotiated and then very publicly disowned by Sinn Fein ”

    Mick, there is no full stop there and it reads as if there should be a bit more to that sentence? Para doesn’t quite make sense.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    They have to be seen to be keeping their core vote in west Belfast and other environs happy. It’s exactly the same card being played by Labour across the way. More money for social welfare, more money for the NHS. How do we pay for it….sure we’ll just pick some more from the money trees.

  • Dan

    Let the Executive collapse. Let the real Government implement the long overdue reforms, let the local parties scream and shout, let them agitate for a return to Stormont again, ignore them and continue under direct rule… rightly.

  • Michael Henry

    ” Where do we get more money” –
    well we could all try and talk to the foolish English to stop them dropping million pounds of our money on another lands people-( Brit Newton is to well paid to complain about the Murderous RAF )-

    What is talked about during negotiations and what is the final out come of those talks are two different animals- thank Christ Emerson does not negotiate for the people- the Tory’s would walk all over him and he would sell us out for a seat in the lords like Paisley did-( although Paisley asked for a lords seat for his wife also-try that trick Robinson )-

  • NMS

    Looking at the UKNI position from an Irish perspective, Sinn Féin are behaving like spoilt brats. Their view of the London subsidy is that it is their entitlement, yet they are unwilling to accept that they are UKs.

    Their behaviour is akin to a teenager with an Iphone 4 demanding an Iphone 6 from his long suffering parents.

    The same puerile approach is to be seen in their approach to water charges in Ireland. They are to be done away with and someone else will pay. I am surprised that they have not made similar suggestions in relation to other utilities such as gas and electricity!

  • Newton Emerson

    Nurse! Nurse!

  • Michael Henry

    The Iraqi people need more Nurses now that the RAF are dropping million pound bombs on them-( but you won’t ridicule the Brits if you think a CBE is coming your way )-

  • NMS


    The option is to go it alone. You are not wanted this side of the Border and we are not willing to subsidise you!

  • Tacapall

    Water charges in Ireland ffs thats like asking Eskimos to pay for snow.

  • NMS

    Public water must be collected, treated & carried to the consumer. Waste water taken away and treated after use. Otherwise you end like the cuchies in Roscommon poisoning each other with the outflow from their septic tanks.

  • Tacapall

    Is that not what we pay rates and tax for or is this another Crown tax, Sheriff of Nottingham style.

  • The Raven

    My understanding at the time when this was first discussed, was that around an average of £140 per annum came from the rates towards water charges. Non-domestic customers obviously have separate bills. I would be willing to pay a metered charge, as long as my rates came down accordingly.

    Which they won’t.

    So I’m not.

  • Michael Henry

    Like the Sheriff of Nottingham the Crown Tory’s have no votes in these parts-they are Robbing Hoods –

  • BarrelOfPorter

    Yes, yes I believe they could. And I don’t for a second believe that many who vote for them will see it any differently.

  • Tacapall

    Correct Raven and we seem to pay tax on everything, there’s not much left that we need to survive that isn’t taxed.

  • BarrelOfPorter

    Always assuming of course that he wasn’t the Tory….

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think this is how they are anticipating that it will play out. I’m not convinced that all of their electorate will fall for it. They certainly won’t gain votes with it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The other way to do it is to bump everyone’s rates up by about £140 give or take. same difference.

    It’s a tax increase.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I vacillate on this matter but part of me thinks the executive should not collapse. The electorate should be fully exposed to the consequences of voting for the tribal parties.

  • Tacapall

    The elephant in the room that you are refusing to notice Mainland is the fact that even if Sinn Fein and the SDLP had no objections to implementing welfare reform there would still be massive cuts to be made in all government departments. The blaming of only Sinn Fein for the effects of British government imposed cuts in the handouts from the taxpayer to this British controlled part of Ireland speaks volumes. Talking about reputation, what does perfidious albion mean and how long has that perception been around. Personally I hope the Shinners bankrupt the place before they collapse it and take no further part in British elections, well if its a time machine back to the good old days of unionist majority rule then lets find another non violent way of upsurping the crown squatters.

  • Ian James Parsley

    That’s right Michael, a bunch of religious zealots commit actual genocide but the rest of us should do nothing. How moral.

  • Ian James Parsley

    Nothing to do with the quarter of a million massacred by ISIL, eh? Sure, go ahead, make it half a million. Michael doesn’t care.

  • delphindelphin

    A householder in GB pays about £350 to the water company for services provided. This is to cover the running costs and investment requirements of supplying water and treating
    sewage – it is not a tax, it is payment for services provided. Costs for NI Water, despite the best endeavors of that ejit Murphy, are likely to be similar.

    Council Tax charges for a house of average value in GB is around £1350– considerably higher than rates for an equivalent property in N. Ireland.

    This means an average household in NI pays about £800 per year less than the rest of the country.

  • Croiteir

    I sincerely hope it does collapse. Plan B anyone?

  • Michael Henry

    The Brits don’t care about ISIS Ian- the RAF are bombing those that helped to kick the Brit army out of Iraq a few years ago- it’s called revenge-

    Hezbollah clashed with ISIS yesterday on the Syrian border- they wiped out that ISIS unit but at the loss of two of their own fighters-seems like the only ones that are actually fighting ISIS are the Kurds and Hezbollah and the Syrian people- the yanks or Brits are no where to be seen-

  • The Raven

    Forgive me, delphinetc, I should have refined the point that the original discourse at the time was being channeled by some blow-in who was virtually complaining that Northern Ireland was getting its water for free. Which it wasn’t.

    Council tax here – or rates – is indeed lower. It’s worth remembering that around 48% of your rates only, goes to the Council. That pays for what the Council provides. It does not, for example, provide services in education, roads, health, elderly care, and so on. Such an extra levy in the rates would go straight to Stormont, as these services will never be devolved by the centralist-loving MLAs and Civil Servants. Our version of Council Tax pretty much pays for what the Councils here provide – a mish mash of local services that Stormont can’t be bothered to deliver. That £140 already goes straight to them.

    This gem from the past – – showed that I was going to end up paying an extra £250 a year on top of that – because these buffoons were going to charge me on the value of my house – as you do of course – I’d obviously have used as much as my neighbours with the three children.

  • Michael Henry

    You are doing nothing-

  • NMS

    But they are the largest part in the UK and their writ runs in Belfast just as it does in Berkshire or Birmingham

  • NMS

    Bryan, I think you have it in one. The UKNI SF leadership, even if they wanted to behave responsibly, would not be allowed to do so. Their behaviour on Dublin City Council will see homeless services being cut because they promised to support cutting the LPT by 15%. The Greens, Labour Party & one Independent opposed the weird coalition of Trots, Provos, Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil.

  • Michael Henry

    The Nazis writ ran in Poland for a few years without any votes from the locals- it did not make it right-

  • Jag

    My, but haven’t all the Slugs become quite the little right
    wingers of late?!

    Sinn Fein is a left wing party, I haven’t checked recently
    but isn’t it in fact a socialist party, or far-left?

    You mightn’t agree with Left Wing politics, but is anyone
    saying they’re not legitimate?

    And Left Wing policy involves protecting poor people, “the
    most vulnerable in society”. Here, in Britain, in the Republic, in the US,
    everywhere. How is the SF position out of the ordinary from Left Wing politics
    elsewhere in the world?

    It seems perfectly legitimate to protect social welfare
    payments and allow cuts elsewhere on people and organisations that can better
    survive than the poor sods who depend on welfare. You mightn’t agree and you
    might prioritise cuts to social welfare ahead of other cuts to government
    spending or higher taxes, but at least recognise the SFers have a legitimate
    political and economic position, the merit of which is at least arguable.

    Also, I stand to be corrected on this but isn’t the overall
    cut to budgets in 2014 the sum of GBP 220m, of which GBP 87m is a fine from our
    pimps in Westminster. So, the majority, 60%, of the cuts are attributable to
    the cut to the block grant,( or turmoil in the international tampons/condoms
    commodities market as Zoltan presumably explains to his trafficked unfortunates when justifying the latest capricious change to their circumstances)

    As for the SFers choosing 2014 and welfare to make their
    stand for clarifying Northern Ireland’s economy, this is as good a time and as
    good an issue as any.

  • Reader

    Well, there’s no VAT on food. So food just has to be paid for.
    However, water is paid for out of tax here (hidden in the mix). If you actually had to pay for water (just like food) instead of it being hidden in your taxes, would that be better, or worse?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    so you only wish the best for Northern Ireland then … and fully respect the wishes of its people.
    Cuts will be necessary, unfortunately, no matter who’s in charge or what country we’re in. We need to rebalance our economy. The real question is, at what pace (I would say slower than the Tories and their ideological craze for complete debt elimination) and how do you cut (I would say by asking the better off to take even more of the hit and use tax rises to reduce the need for some of the cuts).