Brendan Howlin must have some tremendous talent we, his paymasters, are not aware of, because I can't for the life of me understand how he's still in a job.
Firstly he made a complete farce of the allowances "reform" when he failed miserably to get more that 5% of the target reduction in costs because, sure, in the end aren't allowances really pay and, sure, who could reduce pay after all.
Then he fluffs the CPA II negotiations, despite his little 7% tantrum towards the end, so yet again another target gets missed and the time to realise the savings ticks away. Now the government have to bluster and threaten again, but everyone now knows they're pussies and will back down.
If you were cynical you'd be forgiven for thinking maybe Howlin was delaying having to make any real cuts until "something" happened to make it possible for Labour to walk away from actually being in government and get back into opposition where they seem happiest, but in the meantime surely the government MUST have someone better to put on the case for REAL reform?