Don’t panic, don’t panic, they’re going to cut off Welfare, don’t panic…

I’ll try and catch up with where the SDLP are on all of this, but until then I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Newton Emerson…

  • Cue Bono

    So. The Sinners block welfare reform and the end result is that HMG takes over responsibility for welfare and (presumably?) imposes it on the same terms as it is being implemented in GB. Do the Sinners think their electorate will heap praise on them for that?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    But they have won the war by stopping a few fellow Irishmen by not being able to go home on their day out and now asking for them poor people to stand side by side with them and fight the Tories ! WELL PLAYED SF

  • Dan

    Yes, let the UK government take back responsibility for welfare, then let it set up a task force to investigate the wholesale looting of the public purse going on in west Belfast etc, as encouraged by Sinn Fraud

  • kalista63

    Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a crystal ball?

    Well, we do have one, as it turns out. Go and look at Cancer patients, people with genetic conditions, with neurological conditions etc being dragged to assessments, having their benifits taken off them, having to fight, usually win after months of stress and tell me that the fight is not worthwhile.

    This has already happened in GB in the last few years.

  • kalista63

    If I had the same bitterness as the right wingers on this site, I’d wish they got ill, lay in their own pish while their partners fought with the DHSS, facing needless appeals,map see what they are supporting.

    Possibly sadly, I’m not like them and hope that never happens to them or their loved ones.

  • kalista63

    I’m pretty sure that government figures put benifit fraud at 0,7%

    Think on that.

  • Zig70

    Creating a bogey man to rival Thatcher? What could be better? We love to hate the Tories and they play their role so well.

  • Zig70

    If Stormont is brought down do MLAs stop getting paid and Spads as well?

  • Robin Keogh

    Its not about getting prasied, its about keeping to your word

  • Robin Keogh

    Proud of Sinn Fein standing by their promisesto protect the most vulnerable in society.

  • Gopher

    Yup failure to agree a budget (whoevers) means Stormont can no longer exist. It is inconcievable that Alliance DUP and UUP can supported devolution post Tuesday. I think the DUP leadership is trying to find ways of not putting all the (his) MLAs out of office but none is workable which Peter Robinson explains in the Telegraph article. So it now comes down to politics does Peter draw the line in the sand on Tuesday and bring it down confident that 8 MP’s will be a good negoiating position for assembly mkII or does he drag it on an on and on to keep his MLA’s and SPAD’s in jobs and face impending electoral oblivion allowing a broken deal and budgetary petition of concern to stand

  • Zig70

    I wasn’t sure if it meant they don’t get a penny. If that is the case then as SF being an all Ireland party has other revenue streams and politics is very costly, it greatly benefits SF to keep the DUP on the dole as long as possible. If I was SF I’d be thinking a year on the dole should soften them up a bit. Especially coming up to the assembly elections.

  • Gopher

    There wont be assembly elections, there will be negoiations for assembly mkII.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The only possible outcome of voting that bill down is deeper cuts to welfare – you’ll see.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    There are basically two possibilities here.

    SF will back down at the last minute, claim that they got some concessions, and vote the bill through. Which makes them look stupid.

    Or they’ll allow the British to take the powers over again, which everyone has warned is what will happen. They’ll blame the British, and the cuts will be even deeper than they would otherwise have been. Which will make them look stupid.

    Either way, SF are going to come out of all of this looking very silly.

  • Old Mortality

    Robin
    Who are the most vulnerable? I get the impression that in SFs eyes anyone in receipt of benefits and who is also an SF voter is vulnerable. Surely SF would never accept a ‘hierarchy of vulnerability’.
    Could SF not ask the Irish government for humanitarian aid to help starving Irish people in ‘the North’?

  • Old Mortality

    Kalista
    Not many right-wingers would support what you’ve just described and if it was only about looking after people lying in their own pish, there wouldn’t be much of a problem. The problem is that SF want to look after everybody on benefits.

  • Spike

    Fair play to SDLP for finally standing up something. Perhaps they have finally woken up. Whatever the case, the shenanigans from DUP have been called out and we can possibly get the people a fair deal from the Tory cull. We can’t have this preposterous situation where every time the DUP don’t get their way there is a threat to the assembly. It is ridiculous and at some stage someone is going to call their bluff

  • Gopher

    SF cant let them take powers otherwise it is UK cuts to welfare and it defeats the purposes of draging this out until the elections in the South. They are banking that the DUP help them drag it out to next year for fear of putting their MLAs out of jobs.

  • Pete

    Madness from the SDLP. Makes no sense at all. We can’t just magically create more money.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Sinn Féin signed up to a deal which included no proposals to block any of these things.

  • Gopher

    Its a budget, there is a fixed amount of money if you cant agree on that there is no assembly. After Tuesday the job losses will start, slowly at first but with no facility for redundancy as SF have reneged on the Stormont House that money starts to get sucked out of the budget also, so you get into a death spiral and within months as the job losses start to get more numerous the spiral gets faster and faster sucking money out of the budget.

    Translink will probably be first off the books, privatized I expect. Least worse option, cant keep that turkey going, not one chance! Who cares if it fails if its private. Then you will get water privatization with the resultant water charges. Not bad going two companies and two lots of pensions got clean off the books.

    Education will likely be the third port of call for hikes in fees and reduction in teachers and class room assistants. Heads will be given budgets and told to get on with it. They could off course go on strike, against whom would they be striking? Perhaps the students could organize a march, that pays the rent.
    Local government, there is always slack in the system there. Plenty of duplication, all those council workers on reasonable wages for the (lack of) qualifications, such a pity so many in their forties and fifties condemned to the scrapheap. At least the Binmen, sorry enviromental logistic operatives will survive in the private sector. Poor local government from the seventies to 2015 in a few months.
    Then we get round to health our biggest employer, by the time the cuts have ended I think we will see the return of Linen Mills labour will be so cheap, might even start up one myself.

    Go ahead call their bluff (sic)

  • chrisjones2

    You keep pedalling this line. That is detected fraud and 0.7% of a huge number is still a huge number anyway

    However the point is we cannot afford all the benefits we are paying or the fact that they encourage the feckless and workshy to live off benefits

  • Cue Bono

    Oh I see. The Sinners gave their word to make people on welfare worse off did they? Because that is what happens when HMG take over. There is no onus on them to stand over the safeguards that the DUP negotiated.

  • chrisjones2

    Who wants that? But I do want the 16 to 24 year old to realise that they have to work for a living and that popping out children iwsnt a route to a free house and living

  • Cue Bono

    And you do mindless hatred so well.

  • Spike

    I would take it more seriously if every month there wasnt a potential collapse to the assembly. Why aren’t our MPs arguing with Westminster for more funds rather than accepting it like little puppies and turning on each other. Maybe there is a bit of backscratching going on……just like enda kenny and europe

  • Cue Bono

    Nail on the head. The Sinners seem to be banking on their voters being too stupid to realise that.

  • chrisjones2

    the drunks,wasters and workshy? As opposed to those who NEED benefits

  • chrisjones2

    NOpe…they stay in post unless its closed down completely and the money keeps rolling in

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The only plan I can think of is to let it fall apart, let the Brits take back powers over welfare reform, and then blame the colonial oppressor.

    The trouble with this is that all the other parties will point out that a better deal was on the table, which SF rejected. The cracks are starting to show around SF’s hold on their electorate and this won’t help.

    We’ll see pretty soon. Either SF will do a U-turn, or they’ll let it all fall apart.

  • Cue Bono

    You are working from the assumption that keeping people on benefits is doing them a favour. In fact the opposite is the case.

  • chrisjones2

    Cancer patients, people with genetic conditions, with neurological conditions etc being dragged itno assessments.

    The problem is that a diagnosis of ay of these isnt a death sentence and in many cases people can work should work and will find it therapeutic in helping hold their lives together at a difficult time

    And you don’t mention the others – the feckless, idle and the 30 year old with 6 kids who sees parenthood as a well paid career

  • chrisjones2

    …so you let someone else make worse cuts then blame them?

  • Cue Bono

    That is about the size of it. My understanding is that the DUP had negotiated terms which were more favourable to welfare claimants here than anywhere else in the UK, but HMG will be under no obligation to stand over them. The result will be that people will be worse off than if SF had stood over the agreement. Perhaps they are right and their voter base will be too thick to cop onto that. I reckon though that PBP etc will make a pretty good job of educating them on the truth.

  • Cue Bono

    The video explains that when the budget fails HMG step in and take over control of welfare. The rest of the assembly carries on as normal and welfare recipients become worse off.

  • Cue Bono

    Their MLAs won’t be out of jobs.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    The DUP cannot drag it out to next year even if they want to. The assembly has no budget. Without a budget there can be no government.

  • Deke Thornton

    “Why aren’t our MPs arguing with Westminster for more funds”
    That’s the problem. They have done this for decades and been indulged. We have over 10 times the money subvention (even allowing for inflation) since Harold Wilson called us ‘spongers’ in 1974. Not only is there no more money, there is going to be a great deal less. The sponge party is over. People are going to have to work for pay. It’s what happens in the rest of the world. A big shockwave to West Belfast I know, but maybe they should have been prepared by their elected representatives.

  • Deke Thornton

    They could. And SF would naturally have the infrastructure to control this. Thus showing their humanitarian credentials. At least in their areas of control. Areas outside their remit would be an ecumenical matter.

  • Thomas Girvan

    The Sinn Fein master plan will be revealed soon,
    I can’t wait!

  • mickfealty

    If that’s as well founded as the plan to. Bounce the new Labour-led govt into to further concessions or the plan for 38k seat stadium with one exit that’s alright then.

    You cannot build smart national politics if everyone thinks exactly the same way and wants to jump off the same set of cliffs. Just laughing at everyone else isn’t working terribly well, is it?

  • mickfealty

    More like jumping off the cliffs you said you would. There’s no functional political goals here Robin. Just pointless instrumental actions.

  • Zig70

    Wouldn’t it be mad for a party with a social conscious to implement welfare cuts in the week that spads get 91k? Seems to be plenty of magic about. Maybe we should look harder at cutting fat and don’t forget that it will be children who suffer from welfare cuts.

  • Zig70

    It makes no political sense to me for a left wing party to support the cuts especially when the threats involve fining Stormont which Westminster pick up the bill for in the end or bringing down Stormont which will hurt all the other parties more. The stadium is mired anyway. The real prize is a tory bogeyman. I just don’t see a downside for SF. The tories will find themselves in the same situation as Scotland where they can’t move without causing offence.

  • mickfealty

    Left wing does not mean incompetent (though I’m sure some here would beg to differ).

    Why is it mired? It’s had more than enough cash to make it work. Kingspan is done, Windsor is on its way (despite some very odd blocking actions by the Minister). Neither had any more of the fiscal cake than Casement.

    It’s tough to blame the Tories for that, even if you try really, really hard.

  • chrisjones2

    Even more mad for a party paying its SPADs the same amount to block welfare reform,

  • Zig70

    I don’t have any info on SDLP Spads. I’m sure their hands are as dirty. Maybe that is why they aren’t pointing to the hypocrisy. As for SF they are expected to garner as much as possible from the British purse. It’s in the job description of an Irish nationalist.

  • Pete

    We already get loads of money from Westminster. The block grant and Barnett formula are very generous to Northern Ireland.

  • Gopher

    Your not taking it seriously because you have been insulated so far from financial reality by the rolling over of the treasury fines. The jig is now up and the SDLP, SF and Green Party are going to be living with the consequences of Welfare Reform and Direct Rule. Personally I dont mind either and in the minds of the majority of people the Assembly has failed. Its the manner of the stupidity of the failure, we had a decent deal on welfare reform, got corperation tax and it was thrown away because of one mans ambition in the South and the cowardice of his party in the North. One never expects anything from the SDLP and is never dissappointed.

    Personally after the Westminster election I believe Gerry knows the Ballot box strategy is finished in the the North and it is now demonstrable. The embarrassment of treading water or more likely losing a couple of seats in a 2016 election would have been too much for him to stomach so now the emphasis is purely as it has been for the last few years on the South. It seems we always have had a “Grand old duke of York” in Ireland, they just finally found big Ian’s baton and passed it on.

  • Spike

    Yes a subsidised statelet, artificially kept alive and yet the unionist pact voters get hoodwinked again and vote for unionist parties who fail to see that normalising NI with the rest of the UK means less money for that subsidised statelet. I’ve said it before-turkeys voting for Christmas. The only reason for keeping the union was for the dough (some nationalists accept this therefore stay quiet on the national question). take that away then what’s the point of it?? It doesn’t protect culture,it doesn’t defend us, it doesn’t protect religion, English culture is not our culture. Btw East Belfast will be in for just as big a shock.

  • Spike

    We’re about to be normalised-the subsidised statelet is about to disappear

  • Spike

    All on for any improvement in the system to get bluffers and cheats back to work,absolutely. But NI needs the money into the economy, and taking it away will not help us in any way

  • Spike

    And we need every penny

  • Spike

    Again, why if we have been insulated is it a good idea to vote for unionists who will back Tory austerity cuts to cut the insulation that we have?? Madness

  • chrisjones2

    We can’t have this preposterous situation where every time SF and the Stoops don’t get their way there is a threat of a petition of concern.

  • Spike

    Leave the whataboutery at home. Lets be fair now, how many times are dup going to use this line? SF and SDLP’s leftist thinking will always side towards the working and middle classes therefore they are obligated to oppose this reform

  • kalista63

    Not sure how it happened but the Scots got stuck with the bedroom but what they chose to do, to save people from the penalty, is pay people’s surcharge out of their funds. I don’t know how much it costs them I’m sure it’s a pretty penny.

  • hugh mccloy

    there is already a fund here for people renting in the private sector , but you only get it for a short while until you move out to somewhere cheaper, if there is no social housing or cheaper left you are fecked

  • Kevin Breslin

    The former will happen if welfare reform passes, but that’s okay we can pretend it’s some strawman student age dole collector milking the system instead.

  • Gopher

    Because the insulation in the form of the block grant has run out, it has been cut and we can no longer roll over the fines. This just did not happen last week SF have been putting this day off for years along with Vichy SDLP and Agnew who has turned into a complete idiot.

    The deal “unionists” and I include SF and the SDLP in that got was good but SF have reneged now there is zero goodwill and no compromise. SF backed the wrong horse at the election. Now you can shout “tory cuts” all you want, but why not shout “Tory overall majority cuts” or “Tory cuts over a five year term” or “Direct rule Tories cut welfare anyway cuts” that should help you understand the nuances of Westminster and backing the wrong horse.

    You have several choices

    1/ Shout “Tory cuts” let Westminster handle welfare and hope they honour Stormont house (why should they sf did not)

    2/ Shout “Tory cuts” and go back to war in the hope that killing people and blowing up things will stop the bedroom tax and you might even get a mural

    3/ Shout” Tory cuts ” as the assembly collapses and enjoy direct rule (I cant wait)

    4/ Shout “Tory cuts” have a white line protest and get on with the assembly and try to get an economic policy by the next election

    5/ Shout “Tory cuts” and declare a Republic then firgure out who pays for it (Ill give you a clue its HMG which happens to be Tory)

    6/ Shout “Tory cuts” and offer the DUP the acceptance of Stormont house if they ageee a same sex marriage referendum. (not sure if the dole is better if your married but at least it saves face)

  • Spike

    I think ill just shout ‘tory cuts’ and wonder why I thought we were a special case within the uk. Obviously we are not and as we are now a drain on the UK ill continue to wonder what English politicians do when that drain becomes too much and the people involved aren’t even tory voters

  • Gopher

    We are a special case, Stormont house was making us extra special with the cut in corperation tax we also got the best benefit system in the UK and a kitty to fund the rejigging of the civil service to the private sector.. Now we just have the ability to shout “Tory Cuts”

  • Spike

    So as this is the first cut to our ‘special’ status, I’m sure those nice austerity driven Tories won’t be looking at our ‘special’ budgets like a lion watching the wilderbeest in the Serengeti in the coming years. They will be especially magnanimous I’m sure when they remember we are not mainland voters and therefore irrelevant on whether they are in power or not. I think that’s a tap I hear being turned off

  • Pete

    Why should we be a special case? We get a great financial deal – we contribute practically nothing to the UK and get a nice generous block grant from Westminster.

  • Gopher

    They can cut whatever they want and we can do nothing about it except shout “Tory cuts”

    1/ We can keep welfare and take the cuts

    2/ We can agree the budget and implement Stormont house ourselfs

    3/ We can keep the assembly, but not welfare but HMG implement the cuts

    4/ We can have direct rule and HMG implement the cuts to welfare

    Thats the choices

    1/ DUP say they wont entertain and they are the biggest party and are backed by Alliance and UUP and independents

    2/ SF, SDLP and Greens wont entertain and they have a petition of concern

    3/ SF say they wont entertain and given the SDLP and Green track record they will have no difficulty blocking with a petition of concern

    4/ The last remaining option is implemented because there is no agreement on 1,2 or 3 and we get welfare reform anyway.

    Now please do tell what your plan is to get us out of this mess apart from shouting “Tory cuts”. The vote is on Tuesday mind.

  • Gopher

    A question about petitions of concern to anyone who knows. Am I correct in saying SF have a petition of concern and the SDLP have a seperate petition of concern does one party not have to sign the others for it to be valid or can anyone just stand up and shout “I’m Spartacus” until there are 30. Or is it like primary school, Ill sign yours if you sign mine. Surely this is a bit farcical?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Fine Gael are Irish nationalists and their government managed to pay back the UK government a loan.

  • Spike

    Well to avert the current ‘crisis’ my first port of call would be to address the issue of the breakdown in the 1st instance (without getting into the blame game (2 sides to the story and all that). I dont think anyone could argue after the last elections that sdlp’s integrity is credible

  • Gopher

    Sorry you have to deal with the situation that is in the here and now, waffle does not sort anything out niether does blaming x,y and z. We have a situation . What is your solution? If you see a 5th option please do tell.

  • Spike

    Refer to my retort-sort out problem why we had agreement previously, what middle ground is and what we can do to get agreement again. That’s the easiest solution. The whys and whereforalls can follow later

  • Gopher

    Is Chris Hazzard taking night classes? Im sorry once again but waffle wont solve anything. You either implement Stormont House or you dont. Like I said the vote is on Tuesday.

  • puffen

    If SF have an economic strategy,for the current global crises, might I suggest they share it with the IMF ECB, Janet Yellen, etc, or failing that, ask that their comrades in the People Republic of China, to introduce a welfare state, and start playing from a level playing field.

  • james

    Well, if you are right about the ‘tap’ being turned off I hope voters will remember that it was SF who made that happen.

  • james

    By throwing everybody in the society under a bus. Yes, a cunning plan right enough.

  • james

    For ‘let’ read ‘force’

  • Catcher in the Rye

    we can possibly get the people a fair deal from the Tory cull.

    No, we can’t.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Why aren’t our MPs arguing with Westminster for more funds rather than accepting it like little puppies

    I want my MP to give me a Ferrari. It should simply be a matter of everyone joining together to put the case to MPs at Westminster as part of a united front, right ?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    What about the extra money local citizens received when income tax was cut ?

  • Spike

    Try reading the retorts rather than commenting on what you think you are reading

  • Spike

    A vulgar example but the weight of a united front would overcome a lot of obstacles

  • Pasty2012

    Everyone seems to be missing the fact that if the same resources that were put in to detecting fraud in benefit claimants were redirected to the fraud by tax dodgers and companies then there would be a very large surplus.

  • Pasty2012

    Just heard that the new cost to NI if Benefit cuts are not made will be £4.8Billion a Year. The new figure which has been dramatically rising since the initial cost of £100million a year is designed to put additional pressure on those MLA’s who are against cutting people’s benefits and removing £750million a year from the NI economy. Whilst MP’s and MLA’s families incomes are secured along with their yearly rises and expenses there is concern that they may not get the tax cuts on their lavish salaries if the people on benefits do not have cuts made to their weekly payments. Oh I am hearing that if that there is now a claim that Benefit Cuts will strengthen the Union, that swing it, a sure vote winner then cuts to Tax Credits can start immediately with DLA and Housing Benefit to follow.

  • Pasty2012

    If and it’s a big IF, the DUP bring down the Assembly in order to bring in Benefit Cuts then the people who voted for them on the Shankill Road etc. may well give their votes to another Unionist Party or None. Will the Unionist people forgive their MLA’s for bringing down the Assembly in order to make them poorer through benefit cuts and more than likely have a number of other things they don’t want introduced like the Irish Language Act which the British Government have already signed up for and the only ones stopping it are the DUP/UUP. How many other things are the Unionists likely to have to stomach in order to get Benefit Cuts ? and all the time whilst the families of the Unionist MP’s and MLA’s get very well paid jobs as Advisers and Researchers and ordinary folk get told the same line about saving the Union.

  • whatif1984true

    Are there figures anywhere which compare the Stormont Welfare deal versus a Direct Rule solution. I am thinking about the sort of figures which show eg a Family with 2 kids and one person working 20hrs or any other sensible family arrangement (size / in work/out of work/DLA or No DLA etc). The way they show your net pay before and after a Budget.

  • disqus_JmCoqa6yB8

    Sinn Fein’s populist grandstanding has run out of steam. They have been exposed yet again at their doublespeak and rhetoric but some form of words will be manufactured to try and ‘ get them off the hook’. SF needs Stormont more than the white elephant needs them. Stormont bank roles the party machine in NI this includes local offices, and roughly 200 paid workers who do not want to go back to the old days of paying ‘ activists’ a few quid on top of their dole. The MLA’s are equally clinging on to their salaries. Be ready for a convoluted speech from Marty to keep the gravy train rolling whilst keeping the party sheep in line.