freedom, fairness and responsibility
The three words that we are told by the Liberal Democrat Federal Party website sum up the Coalition Government’s Programme. However, I don’t see how it is promoting any of those when you consider what has just happened to the devolved countries’ finances.
Formerly, departments were allowed to carry over money from one year to another. In this way, Northern Ireland’s Department for Education had built up a reserve of £87m (2008 figures). Usually, making savings, is considered a good financial practice: building up reserves in case of need in the future.
with a sweep of the pen,
It seems that Westminster believes that this is careless spending: it is not. The Departments in Northern Ireland always had the
to carry over money, and so they have done so to be good with the public money allocated to them. Just because they did not spend it when it was allocated, does not mean that it has not been used when making planning and financial decisions about the future.
There is nothing about
when a decision is made in Westminster without notice to the devolved administrations. It seems that the Government does not understand devolution.
As a Liberal Democrat, I believe in the freedom of local people making local decision for the local community. But this is being unfair to the Northern Ireland Executive and Departments who had shown
in building up reserves so that they could help in the future, rather than be dependent exactly on what is ‘handed down’ to them by the administration in Whitehall.
The Coalition Government must reverse this decision and give back the £300m that has been swiped from Northern Ireland. It is neither free, fair, nor responsible. And it is not what I would expect from a government that has Liberal Democrats in it.
- the big society: does it apply to Northern Ireland? (gyronny.wordpress.com)
- £95,000 per prisoner per year: reform is much needed to prisons (gyronny.wordpress.com)
- linguistic diversity should be a positive benefit to all (gyronny.wordpress.com)