Monday, May 29, 2017

Reality Cheque

The UK's Office for National Statistics has just published a handy guide to the cost of running the kingdom, especially all those 'less-than-self-sufficient' regions outside of London and the South East of England.

It turns out that total public sector expenditure by the British Government in Northern Ireland was £26 billion in 2015/16. Fortunately (for the English taxpayer) a lot of that was then recouped by way of taxation on all those public sector wages etc. So total net public sector expenditure in Northern Ireland was 'just' £10 billion in the same period.

Which provides some useful context to the recent flurry of North-South Delusions about the prospect of a United Ireland post-Brexit.

£10 billion is about €11.5 billion in real money. It's also more than the Republic of Ireland will spend this year on Education, Defence and the Environment combined.  Only Health and Social Protection cost more that the UK Government's net subvention to Northern Ireland.

Now maybe we could afford it if the EU (and remainder of the UK) chipped in a few extra quid/euro to see us through the transition. Though by the time we had 'levelled up' UK social welfare payments to our own rates we might just need more than a few quid...

Would I like to see a United Ireland? Yes I would, and a pity it was ever partitioned in the first place. But that was then, this is now.

Would I be willing to pay a great deal more income tax to fund it? Hmmm. What was the first question again?

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, that is a rational view, I personally fear the ideologues will see my taxes rise.


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