Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spending cuts

In order to tackle the UKs budget defecit Chancellor George Osborne has set out a four year plan to introduce budget cuts of £4 billion in Northern Ireland. This will significantly reduce the block grant paid by the British government to Northern Ireland which currently stands at between £9 billion to £9.5 billion.
While these cuts will lead to 30,000 public sector job losses and will undoubtably be very painful, it does bring the block grant to a more realistic and sustainable level.

The reason for such a staggering block grant is simply that the public sector in Northern Ireland is much too large (believed to be around 66%).

Every party agrees that the private sector needs to be grown and the public sector reduced accordingly. This dependence on the public sector dissuades potential investors, causing relative poverty in Northern Ireland.

Now that the public sector is to be cut, the next stage in a self sustaining Northern Ireland is to grow the private sector. This is unlikely to happen within the UK. For one thing it would necessitate a reduction in corporation tax to match the Republics 12.5%. No UK government will do this for the North of Ireland. They are more interested in what is right for South East England, and besides could you imagine the reaction in Scotland and Wales if a concession like this was given to Northern Ireland.

Senior economists predict that (at least) a massive 90,000 jobs could be created if the North was allowed to adopt the economic policies of the rest of Ireland.

With the reduction in the block grant through spending cuts and the potential to eliminate it all together with growth in the private sector through All Ireland economic policy, the claim that the Republic of Ireland could not afford Northern Ireland is turned on its head (not withstanding the current economic difficulties south of the border). Also when there is an upturn in the global economy and Irish economies, the economic argument will further no longer wash as a valid excuse as to why there should not be a United Ireland.



  2. A leading Professor of Economics, Andrew Hughes Hallett, has today [Saturday] confirmed that Scotland subsidises the UK treasury in London and that the unionist parties Calman recommendations are unworkable. 

    Professor Hughes Hallett made the remarks whilst appearing on Radio Scotland’s ‘Newsweek’ show this morning. When questioned by presenter Derek Batemen on the economics of independence, the Professor confirmed John Swinney’s case that Scotland would be better off financially with economic independence. 

    The comments come just weeks after Nobel Prize winning economist Josef Stiglitz confirmed that the UK Government had ‘squandered’ Scotland’s oil wealth and the SNP’s plans for oil fund must be carried out as soon as possible. 

    Commenting on the remarks, Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick, who is a member of the Parliament’s finance committee, said: 

    “Professor Hughes Hallet has confirmed what John Swinney and the SNP have been saying  for years. It’s economically unviable for Scotland to remain part of the union and subsidise the rest of the UK.  For years Scotland has more than paid its own way, only for unionist parties in Scotland to peddle the myth that it is the other way around. 

    “An Independent Scotland will be able to build the better and fairer Scotland we all want to see. With the cuts from ConDem coalition about to bite, the importance of the economic powers of independence has never been more important to Scotland. 

    “The SNP will be working hard over the next year to promote a better Scotland, a Scotland free from the financial ties of the union and a Scotland free from the Tories - and their cuts agenda. For too long Scotland has been held back by the union and held back by a Labour party who prefer Tory rule to home rule – it’s time to end that. It’s time to stand up for Scotland, let her flourish, and show that we’ve got what it takes to make Scotland better.”

  3. Britain's new Nobel prize- winning economist today blasts George Osborne for taking needless risks with his huge cuts and exaggerating the chances of the nation going bust.

    Professor Christopher Pissarides warns that the Chancellor’s £81billion package of cuts threatens to send the jobless total spiralling.

    In his first newspaper article since winning the Nobel Prize this month, Prof Pissarides says Mr Osborne is putting Britain’s “fragile” recovery in grave danger.

    Writing exclusively in the Sunday Mirror, he says: “No one doubts that the Chancellor is taking risks with the economic recovery. These risks were not necessary at this point.”

    Prof Pissarides, who received the award for his work analysing the jobs market, called for more gradual cuts to avoid the risk of plunging Britain into a double-dip recession. He highlights rising ­unemployment, a lack of job vacancies and uncertainty in the housing market as particularly worrying.

    He adds: “By taking the action that the Chancellor outlined in his statement, this situation might well become worse.”

    The 62-year-old professor delivers another blow to Mr Osborne and PM David Cameron by joining the growing chorus of alarm over the impact of the Government’s proposed 490,000 job cuts in the public sector.

    He accuses the Government of “exaggerating” the chance that Britain will go broke and questions moves by the Chancellor to cut major building and roads projects which help create badly-needed jobs.


  5. Is it not about time to post something new to this blog?

    There's material out there.

  6. I see the Ulster Unionist Party have selected Bobby McConnell a convicted double murderer as a candidate for Belfast City Council. According to the Sunday Life newspaper.

  7. A General Election has been called in the Republic of Ireland it's on March 11th 2011.

  8. Additional police officers may be drafted into north Belfast over the weekend following an incident yesterday involving rival factions of the UDA.
    PSNI officers were called to the York Road area before 1pm yesterday afternoon after receiving a report of a disturbance involving the man regarded as the UDA leader in the area and a friend of Andre Shoukri.
    Loyalist sources in the area say words were exchanged between the two men outside the home of the mother of one of them before a brief physical confrontation took place.
    “Something was said and then there was a response and then they squared up and a tussle developed,” one local source said
    Within minutes four police Land Rovers arrived into the area.
    It’s understood that John Bunting, who is linked with the ‘inner council’ faction of the UDA, later made a complaint to police that he was assaulted and officers arrested a man for questioning.
    In a statement yesterday, a PSNI spokesman said: “Police in north Belfast have arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of criminal damage, assault and making threats.”