Dodds: “We will work to see an end to the dark tunnel of austerity…”

Interesting line from Nigel Dodds, who leads the DUP at Westminster…

The Belfast North MP said the economic outlook of Northern Ireland would be “easier to predict” with “stable” government both in Belfast and Westminster.

He told MPs: “The electorate sent a very clear message to politicians about austerity at the election, and I think that it’s very clear since that election that people have to listen to what the people said.” Mr Dodds welcomed the election slogan of “prosperity not austerity” used by Tory former minister John Redwood.

He went on: “I’m glad the Chancellor said over the weekend he wasn’t deaf to what was being said.

“For our part, on these benches, we again will work with government in the course of the next period in this Parliament to ensure we do deliver prosperity, do deliver greater spending on health and education, and that we do see an end to the dark tunnel of austerity.

“We’re about strengthening the union, delivering Brexit, defending our country from threats of terrorism at home and abroad, creating prosperity, and keeping Northern Ireland moving forward.

“And it’s in the furtherance of those objectives that we will act and vote in this Parliament over the next five years.”

  • woodkerne

    That’d be strong and stable, strong and stable, strong and stable! Saying it doesn’t make it so.

  • He should say that the government, or perhaps we politicians, have to listen to what the people say. Then he would be saying something innovative. It’s a pity that the dark tunnel of austerity isn’t illuminated by parties willing to crack down on the black economy in London estate retail, in offshore tax dodging, and (cf Macron) taxing the rich who don’t re-invest their money in the local economy.

  • Karl

    Belfast North rate of child poverty is 36%
    Across NI its 25%.
    100,000 children live in poverty
    These figures are substantially unchanged for 10 years
    What is the point in sitting in Westminster objecting to being called dinosaurs when children have been going hungry for a decade?

  • Old Mortality

    This is truly shocking. I must go to North Belfast to see these emaciated children. Shame on the media. If this was Africa there would be shocking pictures on the TV for a few days at least.

  • Old Mortality

    What is estate retail exactly?

  • Karl

    Im pretty sure child poverty is a heretofore unexploited rich comedic vein. Go for it.

  • Casper

    If you were a foster carer and saw these children in front of you in your own home you might not find it so amusing.

    Edit, sorry, I meant to reply to OM

  • Roger

    Presumably there’s more point to taking seats and speaking out than abstaining.

  • Old Mortality

    I think the ludicrous assertion that ‘children have been going hungry for a decade’ deserves nothing more than derision.
    .

  • Old Mortality

    What are you trying to say? Have you experience of fostering emaciated children?

  • The amount of property that is bought for the purposes of money laundering is obscene

  • redbabylon

    Children live in deep penury, and they certainly do go hungry. This Tory government plus this SF/DUP government of late have implemented the full London cuts, without mitigation. Single mothers have been crucified by these policies, and unfortunately the media have created a monster, by allowing lunatics like you to dominate social-commentary forums and argue by using cliches and stereotypes, debasing the voices of the poorest. Even if presented with government statistics people like you scoff, and I think that’s exactly why we have residents from Grenfell atrocity convinced they are unwanted. If Nigel Dodds is against austerity, then the DUP can begin with social security and public sector pay rises. The cuts can be stopped.

  • Karl

    Ah, you were trying to be derisive. For someone to think that children dont go hungry because they live in poverty and to make light of it because they havent reached your required level of starvation makes for a very bizarre train of thought.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    For anyone who has lived in London up to the 1990s, and now visits, the change is shocking. In the last decade whole apartment blocks have been erected in central LOndon boroughs where flats are either let at astronomical prices or are left to lie vacant, simply as a property bank to hold or grow money. Most MPs seem to have portfolios of property where the rental value has rocketed over recent years, and accordingly the tax breaks and special regulations for private rental reflect this “acceptable” vested interest. “Real” people are being forced out to commute, or are simply finding that they cannot continue to live and work in London with the spiralling expenses.

    Getting out of European regulation will permit Britain to expand on this trend within a world market and grow what is essentially a pure “tax haven” economy. Theresa May and Philip Hammond have already warned the EU that unless they get the deal they want, they will turn the UK into a tax haven. This, of course, does not mean an economy that filters wealth across the community, but one where financial service only profit. I think we may be looking into a future where, comparatively, the gross inequalities of the last decade will look like a lost golden age of equality.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Simply because you are not experiencing such poverty, OM, does not mean that it is not both widespread and growing in our society.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The main benefit is seeing the Tories give the DUP being mudguard treatment the DUP have given everybody else.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    An interesting line from Dodds indeed: “We’re about … keeping Northern Ireland moving forward.” Into the Jurassic age? Pleistocene? Devonian? Triassic? I think we should be told.

  • Zorin001

    Maybe he means from Old Testament into New?

  • Casper

    Yes that’s exactly what I’m saying, my mother and father fostered plenty of hungry kids and as a child I lived with them too.
    And this is not in any way a dig at the other side, but out of almost 400 foster kids that passed through our home only 4 or 5 came from CNR backgrounds, over roughly a 30 year period.

    This was despite our families initial preference to deal with CNR children, simply because going to Mass weekly would be easier to organize. However when it was PUL kids that needed a home we took them without question (although some parents refused to let their kids go to live with a Catholic family even though they themselves were unfit parents). Some kids stayed for a day or a week, some for 5 or 6 years.

    We always had relatives nearby and neighbours capable and able of taking them to church/Sunday school, or boys brigade/girl guides, so it was all workable. We even used to take some of them to OO parades, if they wished to do so.

    Now, when you see a kid getting a proper breakfast for the first time in their young life, their eyes lighting up when you tell them they can have cereal, toast and orange juice or tea, it would make you cry. I have, plenty of times.

  • Casper

    Your lack of empathy sickens me.

  • ted hagan

    You seem to be in Katie Hopkins mode and also rather ignorant and ill-informed about child poverty, so here is the definition. To be clear, we are not necessarily talking starvation levels.
    ‘Child poverty refers to the phenomenon of children living in poverty. This applies to children that come from poor families or orphans being raised with limited, or in some cases absent, state resources. Children that fail to meet the minimum acceptable standard of for the nation where that child lives are said to be poor.’
    For your information Paul Givan of the DUP was head of the Department of Communities, which supplied the child poverty statistics. But laugh away.

  • ted hagan

    You’ve only 10,000 years to play with, like when the Big Man (no, the other one) created ULSTER and the lost tribe of Israel, or something like that anyway.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Have they even moved that far yet?

  • chrisjones2

    In the UK Poverty is defined as

    “A household is in relative poverty (also called relative low income) if its income is below 60% of the median household income”

    THe median income in NI was £495 in 2016 ie £25750 so any household earning less than £15444 qualifies as ‘in poverty’.

    So an area like North Belfast with high levels of small houses occupied by lower paid, less qualified employees or the unemployed automatically qualifies as having High Child Poverty

    But then you have to think that the punter earning £25750 is paying Tax and NIC whereas the one on £15444 is paying a lot less. That closes the gap between average earnings and poor to about £7k or £150 a week. So its relative poverty

  • BERZERKERMG

    The price for whatever windfall the DUP get will be passport control at the Irish Sea.

    The DUP’s stance on no internal border between NI and Britain is incompatible with the number one Conservative priority of immigration control, reiterated again today by Theresa May.

    Any land border in Ireland, no matter how hard, will be porous, a weak link. Checks at the ports are inevitable. The DUP will have to go along with this or be seen to represent a threat to Britain’s security and further alienating NI from mainstream British affairs.

    On this issue the two parties are mutually incompatible and that is probably the issue that has delayed a deal being struck.

  • Peter Magill

    A recent London School of Economics report dispelled this myth of property in London being purchased and left empty as some form of investment bank. Can you name any MP’s who operate a property portfolio? However, one I can think of is that great leader of the Labour movement one Tony Blair whose family has quite a large property portfolio – not very socialist in my book more a typical money grabbing little capitalist along with Mandelson and a few others! As for equality where in the world does that exist maybe Russia or China who purport to be communist/socialist and are run on more capitalist lines than even the good old USA. At least the UK has a balanced view of social democracy that encourages good financial services, reasonable tax regime and better social distribution of resources than most.

  • chrisjones2

    By definition as the average pay rises so does poverty

  • chrisjones2

    The real question is where are these starving children. Food is easy. Poor nutrition, education, expectations, parental care and aspiration are more challenging

  • chrisjones2

    “passport control at the Irish Sea”

    Like wot we have now?

  • chrisjones2

    What about DIngleberry She has form for recycling ex social housing

  • chrisjones2
  • chrisjones2

    10000 years …wash your mouth out.

    The earth was created at 6pm on the 23rd of October 4004 BC – a mere 6021 years ago

  • Peter Magill

    They all did – social house sales were introduced by Labour – but who the hell is dingleberry code for!!!

  • Old Mortality

    Well clearly the problems, including hunger, which your parents were dealing with were the result of poor parenting rather than poverty.

  • Old Mortality

    There’s another thread on Slugger which addresses the problem of obesity, including child obesity. Are we to believe that none of the 25% of children defined as being in poverty are also obese? Are all children in poverty who are not obese hungry, by definition?
    Perhaps you could cast off your po-faced righteous indignation for long enough to address these questions. I would honestly like to know how you define hunger apart from it being an inability to satisfy an immediate desire to eat.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘Child poverty refers to the phenomenon of children living in poverty.’
    That’s a stunning insight.
    .

  • Casper

    Clearly you are an expert. I bow to your wisdom on the subject.

  • Old Mortality

    Perhaps due to your parents’ admirably selfless behaviour, you feel you have inherited a well of moral self-satisfaction which allows you to avoid seriously engaging an argument.

  • Casper

    Boke.

  • Casper

    A child going to school 5 days a week without a breakfast of any kind, then coming home to no dinner at all is HUNGER.

  • Oggins

    Friends work in schools and see kids coming to primary school, with a packet of Jaffa cakes for lunch. Regularly these kids have no breakfast or dinner

  • Oggins

    Play the ball lad, not the man.

  • Barneyt

    He’s a downright god damn pinko liberal

  • Ciara 007

    But the average pay is not rising. In fact the desparity is greater in the UK than any other developed nation, and as Norther Ireland is the poorest region therein, one can only assume the deprivation is more intense.

  • Ciara 007

    Given your predictions on the recent election, you will graciously excuse us if we completely ignore your opinion on practically everything.

  • Dónall

    The big difference between the left and right is that the left want to do something to tackle these problems and the right are quite happy to leave things as they sit.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bless you Chris, do you have forty years experience of housing changes in London to evaluate this from? Were you “priced out” by the rapid rise in service charges for inner London flats as many of my friends were? Or by dramatically rising rents? Have you encountered many people living still in Mayfair or Marylebone in almost deserted blocks of apartments whose neighbours are absentee owners from the Global elite?

    I know from your postings that you can seemingly be an expert on everything whatsoever without even leaving the computer screen, but some of us actually get our experiences very much at first hand. There is genuine human suffering here, ruined lives and careers, as the leaches with private rental portfolios suck up the incomes of whats left of anyone with genuine enterprise in central London and drain their lives dry. Once you’ve seen what is really going on and how it effects peoples day by day lives glib PR articles to give a spurious upbeat swing on city emptying out at its very core like an old dead oak are rather less amusing. Quite the opposite.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Ted, you’re absolutely right! Dinosaurs were a hoax and all those fossils were put in the rocks by Old Harry to test the faith of weak minded people.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’m talking about Central London which had a strong communal spirit right up to about a decade ago. The report is very much an upbeat take on something which I’ve quite different experience of, as you can see from my posting below to Chris. When I started out in film in the 1970s freelance people could live and work within walking distance. Now most have at least an hour commute, frequently up to three. And I still have friends hanging on in Mayfair and Marylebone who are certainly in empty blocks of “parked money.” But the report covers this.The report recognises that such property, which they describe as “high end”, does lie empty. My Chelsea cousins and their friends in Fulham have also found their communities decimated with many empty houses in their streets.

    And you hit the nail on the hard with the mention of Balir. An old friend, an academic who had supported labour since the 1960s, significantly said to me in 1998, “The big discovery now is that we do not have to expropriate the rich, we can become the rich.” But then Thatcher described Blair as her greatest achievement! We will have to disagree over Britain having “a balanced view of Social Democracy”, for me it has swallowed the poison of Globalism wholesale and the simple fact that Corbin can propose what would have been normal Conservative policy under Macmillan in the early 1960s and be described as a Marxist in such matters says it all about the grossly disproportionate swing to predatory capitalist values which has turned everyones heads. I’d imagine with the massive spate of deregulation which will follow the exit from Europe another 2007 financial tsunami is all that will even begin to restore some sense of proportion. As for the “better social distribution of resources than most”, while this must always be a relative thing it is only apparent if the UK is being evaluated against, say, Africa, certainly not if you are looking at the UK in its geographical location:

    http://inequalitybriefing.org/graphics/briefing_43_UK_regions_poorest_North_Europe.pdf

  • Old Mortality

    Civil service extreme banality pointed out is playing the man?

  • Old Mortality

    Says it all really. You clearly aren’t capable of holding an argument. Don’t worry too much, that’s probably not a great handicap in the circles you inhabit.

  • Casper

    I gave you my personal insight and you scoffed at it. Do one Katie.

  • Old Mortality

    What’s this got to do with poverty? It’s child neglect, plain and simple. The children should be confiscated immediately by social services.

  • Old Mortality

    See above.

  • Oggins

    Comments like that is a stunning insight are personal attacks, on someone’s comments. Debate the points.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘Children live in deep penury’. Define and quantify
    ‘Single mothers have been crucified by these policies’. Never knowingly understated.
    ‘Cliches (sic) and stereotypes’. For example?
    Show me the statistics.

  • Casper

    If the parents can’t afford food, clothes or to heat their home for their kids then I’d say that’s a good indicator they live in poverty. Maybe you know better.

  • Oggins

    It can be taken as both, bad parenting or poverty. Without deep diving into it exactly we don’t know if it’s bad parenting or poverty. So and parenting would be a parent happy to send kids to school with that food. Parents who have access to food. Poverty would be that’s all there is in the house and the food is cheap to buy.

  • Old Mortality

    Haven’t you noticed the statistics for UK population growth the other day which showed a record increase with the largest increase occurring in London?

  • Old Mortality

    Empty property is undoubtedly a significant problem in the better areas of inner London. The solution is for local authorities to have the power to impose penal levels of taxation on these properties. As the owners are unlikely to be voters, there should be few political objections.
    Corbyn’s solution, if you are referring to his proposal for seizure of vacant properties, would be grossly inequitable; why should someone who was fortunate enough to escape the Grenfelll conflagration (and may even have been living there illegally) have the right to occupy luxurious accommodation while tenants of neighbouring council blocks must continue to live in relatively modest circumstances.

  • Old Mortality

    Is that a definition of ‘estate retail?

  • chrisjones2

    I didnt say it was but I made a mistake ….its the median pay not the average that counts . They are different.

    As gfar as no pay rises goes the minimum wage has risen from I think £5.93 to £7.20 over the last 6 years . Thats a rise of about 3.5% pa. and for a 37.5 hour week it now equates to a salary of £14.5k ….less than the median (statistically it would have to be) and also at a level that automatically deems a one earner family to be in poverty until the income is topped up by benefits

    Obsourne’s (remember him) National Living Wage would raise the salary of the lowest paid to £17.5k and Corbyn’s fanciful £10 to £19.5k. All that seems great until you factor in tax and NIC.

    Corbyn for example claimed his rise would give the lowest paid (ie 16 year olds) an extra £4500 a year but the chancellor would immediately take back £1500 in tax and NIC. For those on the Planned Living Wage the rise would be just £1.5k before tax – about £80 a month

  • chrisjones2

    I do already find it necessary to make many excuses for you

  • chrisjones2

    As most live in social housing and are paid benefits the question is what is the money spent on? But a child arriving with a pack of biscuits for lunch every day and without breakfast should trigger a child protection investigation. At the very minimum the parent(s) need help but there may be other issues

  • chrisjones2

    Thats the UN Definition. In the UK the issue is relative poverty

  • chrisjones2

    “flats are either let at astronomical prices or are left to lie vacant, simply as a property bank to hold or grow money.”

    Its an urban myth. The findings are from a report commissioned by the current Labour Mayor. The properties are being bought up by foreign investors because there is such a huge rental market but they are not left lying empty as there’s too much rent money to me made

    Dont believe everything Corbyn tells you

  • chrisjones2

    Thornberry

    Google Dingleberry and you see why this fits the politician who said “we cant export meat to Australia as it would go off before it got there”

  • chrisjones2

    Read the Mayors report ….it just isnt

  • chrisjones2

    I agree …the question is why? What is the parental situation? Are they in debt to payday loans / loan sharks? Addicted to alcohol or blow? What has gone wrong and what can be done to help them fix it?

    That demands a child protection investigation in an open positive and constructive framework aimed at protecting the children.

    In many cases parents will welcome that but in some cases it will need teeth

  • chrisjones2

    If they are poor why are they not on free school lunches?

  • Casper

    In the majority of cases I know about the parents have separated or divorced. Sometimes the father will be in prison, or the mother in hospital. Almost always a drug or drink problem is involved with one or both parents and it’s not long before the kids end up living in poverty through no fault of their own, especially if it’s a large family.
    This is the price our society pays for having so many youngsters leaving school early, getting pregnant and giving birth before they have even had their first job. When a kid is brought up like that then it all seems normal to them and so the cycle continues again and again.
    Instead of social services paying cash to these parents they should perhaps consider using food/clothing vouchers, that way it can’t be mis-used to buy drink/drugs.

  • chrisjones2

    Poverty in the US differs from the UK, France, Spain, South Africa. Its cultural as well as financial

  • chrisjones2

    Having empathy with the parents is one thing ….. but behind the help to them to sort a situation there has to be a hard edge that they handle their responsibilities to the child in both their interests

  • chrisjones2

    “residents from Grenfell atrocity convinced they are unwanted”

    Thats why £10 m was spent refurbishing their block!! The issue is the= way it was done not that they were unwanted …the same in Camden and the other areas

  • Oggins

    I am not sure Chris. I would be lying otherwise

  • eiregain

    But some quickly google London journalist said it so it must be true… must it?

    Same journalist btw
    http://www.cityam.com/262482/thousands-homes-being-built-across-london-so-why-there

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Chris, read the actual report, or even the news report you posted on the report:

    “However, the report also noted homes with a higher value were more likely to be left empty for at least part of the year.

    ‘Higher [vacancy] rates were found in homes in prime London, more expensive homes (particularly those worth more than £5m), and homes bought by overseas buyers.’ ”

    And I will have to tell my brother in law who is involved in top end developments where the business model is to sell for overseas “money parking” investment that his entire business plan is an Urban Myth. I wonder how his sleek new catamaran was paid for? I’ll also have to tell friends living in empty apartment blocks of Baker Street and in Marylebone that Chris tells me their experience for almost decade is an Urban Myth also. He read it in a report……..

    The people who buy such property are very rich “international people” looking to growth of investment, and would laugh at you if you suggested they rent. I know a few, such as my brother in law and his associates who are constantly travelling, and use such places, if at all, as business drop offs en route to places like Villefranche or a Swiss village. The make the local Rackman lite “portfolio of rentals” boys in the south of England look like charity cases.

    Come on Chris, you can be highly critical of reports when they do not back up your neo-liberal points. Let a bit of the real life out there into your ideology buzz.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You obviously place far too much reliance on figures OM. What I’m talking about is the number of London born people forced out by this leach culture, and the effect on what used to be a rich business start up culture. What the “largest increase” you mention is about is turnover of incomers willing to pay 60% of income for a small room (if they are lucky), not a vibrant local growth of communities, but something much less rooted.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Half agree with you, OM, but you lost me when you suggested that the seizure of vacant property as an emergency measure would be “inequitable.”

    Forget “luxurious”, any accommodation for those use other option is the streets is a good thing.

  • Ballyglass

    Fair points but since the end of the second world war when Londoners were re-housed in Kent, Essex etc the constituency of London has been going through decades of change. Socially and economically there has been too much focus on the role of London at the expense of developing the economies of other major cities Birmingham etc. As this is a world wide issue re major capital cities and their influence on the wider economy I very much doubt whether this will be resolved by any politician from the right or left irrespective of their empty promises. My advice is live in the west of Ireland like me and sod urban living as it is highly over-rated.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thanks for the advice, but I’ve already taken it a while back. About twenty-five years in the Antrim Glens means that I’d seen the trends myself and moved back home some time ago. as a country boy I’d always reckoned that urban living was highly over-rated. But I still have friends who stayed in film and media, in which it is difficult to impossible to have any career if you are living in what Edwin Ardener calls “remote places.”

    Until either the global market collapses under its own contradictions or until some politician seriously attempts to address the issues inherent in the concentration on property in the fewer and fewer hands of an international elite, there is no answer which can be more than cosmetic in its effects. But don’t think that even distance can offer protection. Those clapped out re-cycled wind turbines that are spreading across all of Ireland, north and south are a local expression of global money, dressed up as a green initiative to fool those who do not recognise just how devious Globalisation can be.

  • grumpy oul man

    If we have a attempt at a hard border between north and south, nationalists will rightly see it as the end of the GFA and a step backwards. annoyed nationalists means more nationalists hitting the Ballot box= more votes for SF!
    Customs posts at Airports and ports will make unionists nervous (a very visible sign that Britain is willing and happy to wave goodbye to the north) and make nationalists a bit more content, meaning less nationalists bothering to vote.
    I would love to know how much thought Brexiteers in NI put into the consequences of Brexit! did it go beyond “get our country back” .

  • grumpy oul man

    Heretic! it 6000 years and not a minute more.

  • grumpy oul man

    as i said to Ted,
    Heretic! it 6000 years and not a minute more.
    youse two are worse than them taigs.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good grief Chris, have you a cousin whose career depends on the reception of the report? I’m astonished that you are pressing so hard on this “London property filled to bursting point” idea from one apparently misunderstood source. Try and remember, the report itself is a generalised snapshot of things at a moment in time, not the whole picture where every part of London has to conform to rapid occupation on an exact city wide percentage. You are then jumping on the “almost no evidence” and “myth” of a news report and seeing this as a shining verity.

    But I’d need to examine the methodology of the report myself, and the context in which it was commissioned, to evaluate it properly. I know from many other sources that a good deal of residential property does lie vacant long term in central London, and serves as a land bank investment for international interests. I even know people who engage in this sort of investment. The commercial property filling a similar land bank function is clearly there for all to see for anyone who walks through central London with their eyes open. These are the realities evident to any Londoner which your “glance rather than read” misunderstanding of what the report is actually saying in its detail conveniently glosses over in favour of, well, a journalistic sound-bite version. You need to actually do more serious research than relying on some journalist’s “representation” of someone else’s “representation” of a report’s “representation” of the sort of thing I’m talking about from, well, personal experience.

    For starters, have you looked at the website “who owns England”?:

    https://whoownsengland.org/2017/06/18/where-are-the-empty-homes-in-kensington/

    This “Empty Homes in Kensington” page is detailed and even offers an interesting map of the Knightsbridge area towards the end of the article which gives even then most obtrude food for thought.

    It helps perhaps to recognise that almost anything like this is going to be complex, and must become grossly distorted if anyone attempts to sum it up in about 400 words. And even more distorted when reduced to soundbites of seven words.

  • Old Mortality

    Even better to offer them incentives not to procreate.