Conor Murphy in his boast (Platform, February 12) that Sinn Fein was successful in opposing British “welfare cuts”, and, therefore it is to Sinn Fein that, not only his constituents in Newry and Armagh,but all in Northern Ireland should be grateful.
But, if his claim is correct, is he not being economical with the truth in omitting to say that what Sinn Fein succeeded in doing is financed by a common treasury, the British or United Kingdom treasury?
And, then he might have gone on to add, by way of explanation, that such financing is possible because of the nature of the United Kingdom.
He could then have contrasted that Union with the other Union, the European Union, which on certain matters has us not alone, as Sinn Fein in theory have us, but united.
But unlike the United Kingdom, Conor Murphy could have further explained, if he had refrained from being economical with the truth, the European Union is as yet not fiscally integrated with a common treasury.
Until that comes about (and it seems that it will eventually) although pressure can be used on spending, because of the common currency, as we see with the Republic of Ireland, and its cuts in welfare, transfers from one region to another as in a fiscal union do not exist, apart from those given initially to the Republic to enable it to bring its infrastructure up to a level with Northern Ireland.
Wealthier parts of the EU contribute more to its general costs but that is not fiscal unity.
That is an important difference between the two Unions to which we belong.
W A Miller