Friday, 12 February 2010

The impact of the negotiations

THE costs of negotiations are coming to light, from the unlikely source of Finance Minister Sammy Wilson.

The deal may have been reached at a substantial cost to the Hillsborough Castle catering budget, but the cost to NI plc’s balance book may be more substantial.

Sammy has told us all – via an Assembly committee – that Ministers and their Departments haven’t come up with their spending plans due to the Policing and Justice negotiations.

And there is cash needed if water charges are to continue to be deferred.

We’re facing an economic crisis, in which unemployment is set to continue to rise. The Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review is likely is to see a big reduction in the region’s ‘block grant’.

In short, the Northern Ireland public sector will be cut, cut, cut – leading to more unemployment.

It’s all clear now.

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