Thursday, 11 October 2007

Please Darling, can we have some more?

The Belfast Telegraph notes aghast in its leader that Alistair Darling only intends a 1.9% increase in public spending for Northern Ireland as announced in his Pre Budget Report. This represents a lower growth rate than that to which we have become accustomed.

There follows a confused piece in which it is acknowledged that the Northern Irish economy is overly-reliant on the public sector but Mr Darling is criticised for expecting growth to come from the private sector. It is also presented as a “bad thing” that Finance Minister Peter Robinson is expected to deliver savings by increasing the Assembly’s efficiency.

Perhaps the fact that “devolution is a costly exercise, as the public is discovering, with 11 departments to finance and another - justice and policing - on the way” should cause us to examine whether devolution is necessary, whether it can be delivered in a more efficient manner and whether its extent shouldn’t be limited, rather than eliciting howls of outrage when greater and still greater subvention isn’t forthcoming from Westminster.

1 comment:

beano said...

Perhaps the fact that “devolution is a costly exercise, as the public is discovering, with 11 departments to finance and another - justice and policing - on the way” should be cause us to examine whether devolution is necessary, whether it can be delivered in a more efficient manner and whether its extent shouldn’t be limited,

Yes, it most certainly should.