Northern Ireland Executive spending dribbles out without a clear narrative. Does anybody care?

Taking a break from the minutiae of party battle,  let’s just see how we’re faring on policy – you know the stuff that politics is supposed to serve. The current results are mixed.

Three points for more progress on school sharing between Protestant and Catholics. Why not go the whole hog and integrate them for heaven’s sake? One point for raising the idea of prescription charges – not because they’re necessarily a winner or would raise much revenue. But at least the idea is a departure from the orthodoxy that failure to charge for anything must be a public virtue.

On the Welfare Bill what are they doing?  Heavily sugar coating the bitter pill, that’s what. But what’s this about ..

“Five new schemes are being developed to provide financial support for people who would lose money due to welfare changes in Northern Ireland. The details are not specifically referred to in the Welfare Reform Bill, which is being debated  by assembly members ?.”

Welfare is funded separately but money is being found from the block grant to make up part of the difference. There’s still a  black hole yet  this is not even debated! Peter Robinson may say that corporation tax is “doable” but still we have little transparency over the budget. The final distribution of the block grant emerges in dribs and drabs and bland assurances. When will we get  the full picture?

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  • barnshee

    ” When will we get the full picture?”

    After the election

  • chrisjones2

    After the election in 2016

    …and I love the use of ‘dribble’ So evocative of them.

  • Practically_Family

    On the Welfare Bill what are they doing? Heavily sugar coating the bitter pill, that’s what. But what’s this about ..

    It’s about Britgov stating, truthfully, that they have fully implemented welfare reform in NI and Sinn Fein stating, truthfully, that they have prevented people being victims of Tory cuts.

    In short it is a very large and not particularly subtle fudge which nobody seems
    keen to mention.

  • Practically_Family

    Actually, in both instances of “truthfully” above, replace with “plausibly”.

  • Nimn

    which election?

  • Kevin Breslin

    I bought a cup of coffee today without a narrative, oh wait now whoops.

  • barnshee

    the next one —and the one after that
    Whether anyone will notice -ah that`s the rub

  • Old Mortality

    Maybe you had a plan rather than a ‘narrative’.

  • chrisjones2

    I bought an expresso with a narrative and attitude …it was bloody expensive thick and sickly ….like the coffee

  • Practically_Family

    I’ll take a very deep breath, suck my teeth and say that in relation to national politics, with certain caveats (like the forthcoming election) as long as Britgov & SF are relatively content, the number of tosses given about how anyone else involed feels is minimal.

  • Practically_Family

    I think they may well care how they come out of it, but nationally, and by that I mean across the United Kingdom. I think there are relatively few people who care that they care.

    Notwithstanding the fact that the currently the Tories might be looking to Unionist parties to shore up their (potential) majority come election day. The state of play is, and since the beginning of the talks that led to the Belfast agreement has been, that the British Government & whoever best represents (potentially) militatnt Irish Republicanism need to be on board. It’s nice to have everyone else along for the ride, but… “There is no Plan B”.

  • chrisjones2

    You keep pretending that the DUP oir anyoine else had a choice

  • Nevin