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Advent and Autumn statement provides a time for reflection

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UKIP's Henry Reilly. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

UKIP's Henry Reilly. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

UKIP's Henry Reilly. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press

For me advent is a time of preparation and reflection, as I await the birth of Christ.

Last week’s Autumn Statement, was a cause for reflection too.

After 5 years of austerity, this year’s budget deficit is predicted to weigh in at a whopping £90bn.

Writing in The Guardian, Patrick Wintour and Larry Elliott predict public spending will fall to 1930’s levels.

You can be certain that the impact will be felt most acutely by the most vulnerable in society, long before it is felt by the well off or the well-heeled.

That’s especially true in Northern Ireland, where the outworkings of austerity are compounded by the pet political projects, priorities and follies of our masters in Stormont.

We can’t find the money to fund care and respite homes, yet we can spend taxpayers’ money so men dressed up as women can strut their stuff through the streets.

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This winter, hundreds will die needlessly as a result of fuel poverty.

At the same time, big businesses, big campaign groups and big landowners benefit from the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in British history, courtesy of taxpayer funded renewable energy subsidies.

Our government spends £11bn each year in international aid, just as the EU erects barriers to distort and manipulate trade with some of the most impoverished nations on earth.

Budgetary constraints ensure those responsible for the most heinous crimes of ‘The Troubles’ will continue to evade justice, whilst Equality Commissars plough taxpayers’ hard earned into a case against a bakery, which refused to decorate a cake destined for a bash organised by an Alliance councillor.

There can of course be no parallel between the horrors of war and the problems facing us today, because of the failings of an out-of-touch political elite.

But I do wonder if Thomas Hardy was writing Christmas 2014, rather than Christmas 1924, might he have penned ‘Peace upon

earth!' was said.

We sing it, And pay a million priests to bring it.

After two thousand years of mass, Government still squanders taxpayers’ cash’?


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