SOMETIMES one has to wonder at the contradictions in the news agenda. Last week a local newspaper reported on a £50m spend by the Northern Ireland Executive departments on consultancy services from the private sector.
Then, with no sense of irony the CBI called for urgent cuts in the public sector.
Now, we neither know, nor particularly care how many of the local management consultancies are members of the CBI, but if there is a slash and burn policy in the public sector we can guarantee that no-one is going to be in a great hurry to approve spending on external services.
And, the elephant in the room is that the public sector spends an awful lot of money buying services and consultancy from the private sector.
So, if there are drastic cuts in public sector budgets, there will be less to spend on the sort of things that the private sector offers to the public purse.
Which either means that the CBI can’t see the hurt they could cause themselves, or their members are looking to see what services and quangos they can ‘suggest’ would be ripe for privatisation.
One of the consultant’s reports was on a red meat strategy for Northern Ireland. We’re not sure (nor, we guess is anyone who was not intimately involved in the red meat sector) what such a strategy hoped to achieve. But for our part we wonder whether we can help this strategy. As such, we are prepared to eat a cow, two sheep and three pigs to support it... provided the consultants guarantee that our gluttony is part of the solution to aid economic recovery!