I’m someone who works with numbers and statistics. I’m also a Christian. I therefore find it distressing that some people in Northern Ireland have claimed there is a faith-based case against Covid vaccination.
US President Harry Truman once said, "How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?" Usefully, the Kantar/Belfast Telegraph poll includes some of the practicalities, such as cash and healthcare.
Sometimes we face agonising dilemmas between terrible alternatives. We should try to avoid getting into such situations. In the UK at present we should avoid an uncontrolled second wave of Covid-19 which kills tens of thousands and also a second general lockdown knocking billions off the economy.
Yesterday the Office for National Statistics provided some of the first official, statistical confirmation that the UK, including Northern Ireland, is in the early stages of what will be a very deep recession.
These are unprecedented, uncertain times as the virus and its impact spreads. It might be objected that compared to matters of life and death, the economy is very much a secondary issue.
Tucked away, five days before Christmas, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the 2018-19 data on the fiscal transfers. That is, for each of the 12 major UK regions how did the sum of money raised through taxes in that region compare to the level of public spending which benefits that region? In other words, which regions get more out of the UK exchequer than they put in?
At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. So Jawaharlal Nehru - the first Prime Minister of his country - said about independence in 1947.
We've had a number of stories recently regarding funding public spending in Northern Ireland. Yesterday's announcement of the results of January monitoring is a much smaller, less dramatic affair but still significant.
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