John Bruton: Never mind the PSNI or parades, it's the economy
Published 03/02/2010 | 05:00
NORTHERN Ireland needs a robust political system that can take decisions, as well as one that represents everybody fairly.
The current prolonged difficulties in the Executive raise a question over whether the system devised in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement needs to be improved to ensure that it passes the test of decisiveness, as well as the test of fairness.
Like the rest of the island, Northern Ireland now faces real economic threats. It is heavily dependent on the UK exchequer. Of its workforce, 32pc are employed in the government sector. That sector is kept going by an annual net transfer of £16bn from the British exchequer. Now the exchequer is running short of money. It has a deficit of 13pc of its GDP.