Posh-boy Chancellor George Osborne barely had time to draw breath after his feed-the-rich, fleece-the-poor budget last week than a succession of Stormont politicians was mad-dashing for the microphones to express anger and dismay at the likely effect of the measures on the less-well-off in this part of the world.
Even Sammy Wilson was incandescent. Of course, Sammy incandesces easily.
But what does Sammy propose could or should be done to counter Osborne’s plans?
Nothing so far. But maybe he’s working on it. Or not.
The ‘workfare’ scheme introduced at Westminster, supposedly to acquaint the unemployed with the “culture of work,” provides the most obvious precedent for the budget measures. Workfare involved major companies being supplied with free labour and the unemployed threatened with loss of benefits if they balked at taking up the offer. The measure was so obviously unfair that it immediately sparked widespread protests and disruptions which were supported by millions who ordinarily would run a mile from militant action.