Government’s cutbacks “lack logic or coherence”

ALLIANCE leader David Ford has said Government proposals to cut back public-sector agencies are a mish-mash of different and conflicting aspirations.

David Ford stated: “There is nothing wrong with the objective of cutting back on unaccountable and over-bureaucratic bodies. However, there seems to be no rhyme and reason to the Government’s proposals for achieving this.

“Specifically, the Government continues to talk about ‘great savings’, but is yet to produce a single business case to prove this point.

“There are no savings in merging bodies but retaining them all at the same size, in simply moving headquarters, or in transferring some functions to local government while leaving bodies such as Invest NI structurally intact – presumably with the same number of people doing

less work.

“Nothing represents this better than the situation with housing. People are rightly extremely concerned about the end of the Housing Executive, because local politicians’ record on such matters is hardly impressive. But the real issue is the vague terms upon which the Executive would be abolished. The Government has not presented its precise proposals in any detail, nor has the Secretary of State been able to explain them.

“The Government is also severely restricting itself by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process based on seven Councils. Some functions are best performed at community level, others at a broader, central level – but few will be best performed by local Councils, which are not truly ‘local’.

“The Government seems set to try to blame Councillors for failing to make the new local government system work. We should be clear that it will not work because it is not local.”


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