Interesting factoid from Liam Clarke:
A demand for parties to be allowed a collective veto on government measures creates a dilemma for Peter Hain, the secretary of state.
He faces a series of unpopular decisions on water charging, industrial de-rating and cost-cutting reviews of public administration and education. However, Tony Blair’s government badly needs a success story in Northern Ireland to balance problems elsewhere.
The parties may be hoping that to guarantee progress, the exchequer will allow the sort of leeway enjoyed by the Scottish parliament, which is 10 times over budget. Its budget has been increased from £15 billion to almost £30 billion since devolution was introduced in 1999. (Sunday Times)