Any word on that budget you seem to have magically disappeared there Máirtín?

Good point from Stephen Dempster… RHI projected 490m overspend; SIF 13m over; community halls fund cost quadruples. Other overspends. Why can't Executive manage our money? — Stephen Dempster (@dempster7) January 14, 2017 Before the last election, I asked what damage could putting SF into Finance cause. I don’t suppose our oddly well travelled Finance Minister would care to comment now as he prepares to leave office with his budget both well overdue and – so far as anyone knows – completely … Read more

Finance Minister says NI left out of Brexit negotiations: UK Gov won’t underwrite current EU funding for NI

Talking at this morning’s Big Ideas: Festival of Economics at NICVA, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir indicated that Northern Ireland was being left out of post-Brexit decision making in London. He also felt it was likely the British Government would not underwrite the “half of” current EU INTERREG and PEACE funding, adding that he expected farm payments would “fall off a cliff in 2020”.

We can already see a post-Brexit economy emerging. It’s grim.

Here’s a confusing financial press headline from today: German 10-year sovereign bond yields turn negative for first time. What does that mean in plain English: it means traders are so worried about what the UK economy would look like post-Brexit, they’re pulling their money out of the UK, and actually paying the German government to let them lend it money. Read that sentence again to realise how deep the fear is. You’ve heard the scaremongering. This is what the reality … Read more

News of investment in NI may be good enough to be true

Wow! 36 deals worth £392 million secured in the first quarter of 2016 I admit I don’t really understand what the figures mean and how much accrues to people who live and work in northern Ireland. Still, it seems like good news for the professional classes in high tech. In the first quarter of 2015, there were 42 deals valued at £205.7 million (€256.6m): this year, in the same period, just 36 deals were concluded but at a combined worth … Read more

An Independent Scotland’s banks will “continue to rely on a London-launched bail-out”

Currency would not be a problem for an independent Scotland if, one, the Eurozone had settled its difference over what a fiscal union might look like; or two, the financial sector did not account for such a large proportion of Scottish GDP. Liam Halligan outlines the problem with some precision… The combined balance sheets of the UK’s banks amounts to a massive five times annual GDP. We have the most bloated banking sector of any major economy, making our public … Read more

Sinn Fein’s ‘creative accountancy’ over funding the gap for a United Ireland

So, briefly, Newton Emerson gives us confirmation of what you probably already knew from listening to Gerry Adams talking to Tara Mills in last week’s big interview on Sinn Fein’s #BorderPoll. That is that the party’s figures simply do not add up. In yesterday’s Irish News he noted: It is true that DFP’s last report showed revenue rising to 12.7bn but the same report showed public spending rising to £23.2bn, so the £10bn gap remains. Mr Adams tried to muddy … Read more

£132 million extra capital? Who cares, when we can burn down an Alliance office.

With the local news fixed on the deepening flags furore, you have to look quite hard to find  anything at all on the impact on NI of the Chancellor’s autumn statement less than 24 hours after he made it. Hey, who cares about public money when there are Alliance offices to burn? As far as I can see the CBI were the only one who made much in print of the unheralded 1% cut in corporation tax to 21% throughout the … Read more

Big News. Innovation from the Executive

Good to see Northern Ireland featuring on the UK national news agenda with a report on the “Tesco tax.,” (Today programme 7.25, Sammy and retail consortium rep interview). Despite the national coverage, inexplicably I can’t find  news of  the 1st April vesting date for the business charge on the local BBC News website. Old news locally perhaps? But at least the story’s appearance is  a case of a good sell to the networks which more and more these days unilaterally exclude … Read more

Every little helps…

I DOUBT if our Sammy has been down at Writer’s Square lately, or whether he’s been flicking through the pages of Tescopoly – but there’s little doubt he has managed to piss off one multi-national more than our tent-dwelling comrades have. And after reading Tesco director David North’s threats the other day about cutting job creation and investment here if Sammy goes ahead with plans to impose a large retailer levy, I rather sympathise with Sammy. North said last week … Read more

Davis makes financial disclosure. Will McGuinness follow?

Mary Davis has been getting a lot of stick from the press about her various public appointments. Now, she’s published her P60 and her earnings as a director. In yesterday’s NewsTalk engagement Martin McGuinness also promised a similar disclosure… That would be a disclosure, Gerard’s been waiting for some months for… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and … Read more

Ten Signs of a Fear-Based Workplace…

Not thinking of any any government department/non departmental governmental organisation in particular, but I thought this was an interesting spot from a colleague this morning on Yahoo’s finance pages: When senior leaders make virtually all decisions in secret, dole out information in unhelpful drips, and base hiring on sheeplike compliance rather than energy and talent, and the PA system all but blares “Be glad to have a job, stop whining, and get back to work,” your company’s fear problem is … Read more

IMF propose new bankers tax

In a new report to the G20, the IMF recommend that two new special taxes should be levied on banks and bankers to meet the cost of any future financial crises. The two taxes target bankers pay and bank profits. Per the Times report The first tax, a Financial Stability Contribution, would be a levy to fund any future government support. The second would be a Financial Activities Tax on the sum of the profits and remuneration of financial institutions. … Read more