An interesting series of Assembly Questions casts a light on what can only be seen as the improving financial governance of the Ulster-Scots Agency over the years — and, conversely, quite how bad that governance was ten years ago.
To give one answer in full:
"From 2004-2009, the average cost of the Ulster-Scots newspaper was £18,138 per circulation issue for 42 issues totaling £761,796. From 2010-2011 the average cost per circulation issue fell to £11,094 for 12 issues totaling £133,128 due to the phasing out of overseas distribution in favour of internet publication. During 2012 there was a gap in production of the Ulster-Scots newspaper while the Agency re-launched the production of the paper, and from the end of 2012 the average cost per circulation issue is £5,600 for 6 issues totaling £33,600."It is reassuring to know that the newspaper is no longer distributed overseas, i.e. no longer being used in an attempt to promote tourism — or, as some would have it, to set up an "Ulster" lobby to rival the more established Irish-American one. Indeed, the Ulster-Scot is given away with the News Letter only in Counties Antrim, Down and Derry, the only three in Northern Ireland with Scots-speaking communities.
And that is only as it should be.