Monday, 8 November 2010

Two pictures

After I got a pass for Stormont, one of the things I noticed early on was two pictures on the wall as you entered the canteen.  They were of the Assembly staff standing on the steps.  The pictures were taken seven years apart (IIRC the first in 2002 and the second in 2009).  Throughout that time the Assembly had not grown in powers (although by the second devolution was running without interruption).  However, the amount of space taken up by the number of staff had grown very noticeably.  A recent Assembly question confirmed this growth, almost 50% in five years.

Today the Assembly adopted a motion proposed by Peter Robinson making the Assembly Commission subject to the same cuts as elsewhere in government.  This needs to happen not only for the reality of our public finances because no cost-cutting programme will be taken seriously without it being clear that the political institutions are subject to the same as every other part of government.  They should also perhaps be thankful that more is not being sought of them.

(Note I had always intended to take a photo of the two pictures so I could blog on the topic. They would have been good visual aids to the incremental growth of government through lost of small decisions. However, I kept forgetting my camera and was told they were recently removed.  So I'm afraid you'll have to take my word for it.)

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