“In the Autumn, Northern Ireland must have a proper Budget in place…”

As the only adult (politician) left in the room, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has intervened, for a second time, on NI Executive business and reallocated £131 million in funding to local departments [pdf file (216kb)].  From the BBC report Health and education are the major beneficiaries of £131m in additional money for Northern Ireland. The move was announced by Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, as part of a reallocation of funds known as a monitoring round. Health … Read more

Corporation Tax powers finally set to be devolved?

The Belfast Telegraph has a number of articles about the devolution of control over Corporation Tax: with a timeline here. From the Belfast Telegraph: Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am optimistic that we will get a positive answer from the Prime Minister. “I think that the Government wants to do this and we have made a very robust case to them.” A senior Tory source concurred with this assessment. However, the cost of cutting the tax is likely to … 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

“The Committee views this matter with the utmost seriousness…”

The BBC reports the Northern Ireland Assembly Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) press release on their report in response to NI Audit Office report into the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme – the actual PAC report is here. In general there’s little new information on the NI Department of Agriculture’s mishandling of the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme – the largest capital grant scheme ever run by the Department of Agriculture, through which some 4000 farmers received grants worth £121million  – an earlier draft PAC report was leaked to the … Read more