Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Wood for the trees

Talkback has decided to fascinate on the ministerial cars as a means of saving money based on the Minister for Finance and Personnel's decision to hold back the tender to replace the existing 3 year lease contracts.  No saving can be ignored in the circumstances we will find ourselves in but it looks like the standard issue 'let's bash the politicians' approach. 

Is it too much to hope the media could raise its gaze to have a decent public discussion on cuts?  The car contracts is woods for trees stuff - reducing the number of departments would a) produce savings in the region of tens of millions and b) reduce the number of cars required.


Jonny Jackson said...

Reducing the Departments would also require amendments to the Northern Ireland Act which would also allow an opportunity for the number of MLAs to be reduced , and the whole First Minister/Joint First Minister name shenanigans could be sorted out.

Who knows, we could even legislate for an oppostion - all at the same time.

Lee said...

1. Yes to MLAs cuts. So far only one party has backed that.
2. Terminology wars I personally find somewhat tedious.
3. There can be an opposition at Stormont already. There is no need for legislation - no party is obligated to participate. If you meant mandatory coalition no disagreement from me there either. However achieving it isn't as easy as departmental re-organisation.

Anonymous said...

Cuts in car use will mean that railways and buses and taxis will be used. Direct experience of rail and bus by MLAs will hopefully lead to improved decisions to invest in Northern Ireland Railways. Perhaps the Railway Line from Belfast to Newtownards and Newcastle could be rebuilt, with a station near Stormont.

Lee said...

Our capital budget is about to be slashed so I can't see how additional projects get in especially one that wouldn't pass economic appraisal

Anonymous said...

Rail and bus travel ought to be understood by politicians so that they are informed by experience rather than from some report devised by a non-entity on transport issues.