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Sammy Wilson: Sinn Fein ever the victim as they play blame game over budget

By Sammy Wilson

You wouldn't have needed a crystal ball to predict the reaction of Sinn Fein to the proposed budget unveiled by the Secretary of State yesterday.

The faux rage about savage cuts, Tory austerity and stout resistance to any cutbacks is a straight lift from the Sinn Fein lexicon of economic rhetoric.

The fact of the matter, however, is that James Brokenshire (below) had to introduce these proposals because in the eight months for which he was Finance Minister, Mairtin O'Muilleoir never brought forward one of his own. It was his failure and then his party's destruction of the Assembly which caused the Secretary of State to have to step in.

Yes, there are reductions of 2.5% to both the justice and education budgets, but these result from the guidance that the Assembly wanted greater amounts spent on welfare and health.

It is a basic fact of budgeting that if more money is spent on one area, then less can be spent somewhere else - an economic concept that seems to have escaped O'Muilleoir.

Ironically, Sinn Fein not only condemn the budget which is proposed, but on top of that have added their own wishlist of new spending proposals.

Not one word have we heard about how the current reductions would be avoided or the future commitments financed.

I suspect that the hysterical, and unrealistic, reaction from Sinn Fein to this budget is an indication that they have no intention of making the current talks on devolution work.

They will seek to blame everyone else for their failure and then sit on the sidelines doing what they are best at, moaning about their economic victimhood.

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