Tory-DUP deal: anger in Scotland and Wales over £1 billion agreement


Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon.

Reuters

  • Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has condemned
    the £1 billion Tory-DUP deal as “the worst kind of pork barrel
    politics.”
  • Carwyn Jones, Wales’ first minister called the
    agreement “a straight bung.”
  • The £1 billion deal has been given to Northern Ireland
    in a block grant, bypassing Barnett formula rules to fairly
    allocate funding across the UK.

LONDON — Scottish and Welsh politicians have condemned the
deal between Theresa May and the DUP, describing it as “grubby,
shameless,” and “a straight bung.”

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon called the agreement
between the two parties “the worst kind of pork barrel politics,”
after it was confirmed that there would be no extra money
for Wales and Scotland, the UK’s other devolved administrations.

The deal, which was signed between the DUP and the minority
Conservative government on Monday, means that £1 billion
extra will be given to Northern Ireland over the next two years
in exchange for the unionists supporting the Tories on key votes.

Carwyn Jones, Wales’ Labour first minister, said that the pact
supporting Northern Ireland “kills the idea of fair funding,” and
it is “a straight bung.”

The £1 billion will be given to Northern Ireland in a block grant
for specific projects, meaning that the agreement will not affect
the Barnett formula, which decides how to fairly share out money
across the UK’s devolved governments.

The Scottish secretary David Mundell had previously claimed that
any additional funding for Northern Ireland would mean
proportional extra funding for the other devolved governments. He
said “Barnett rules will ensure the appropriate funding comes to
Scotland.”

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The Tory-DUP deal
includes support
such as £160 million a year for health and
education and £275 million a year for infrastructure, but Downing
Street said that the money would be part of Northern Ireland’s
block grant, which means no additional funding for Scotland or
Wales.


Sturgeon
 accused the Tories of buying their way into
power.

“By ignoring the Barnett formula, Scotland will be missing
out on an estimated £2.9 billion in funding for our public
services — that is the price to Scottish taxpayers for the Tories
to stay in power,” she said.

“This is the worst kind of pork barrel politics, which has
shredded the last vestiges of credibility of this weakened prime
minister.”

The SNP says that £2.9 billion in extra funding should
be given to Scotland, while Welsh Labour has said that there
should be £1.67 billion for Wales, if the money was spread out
proportionally.

Carwyn Jones said that the deal “further weakens the UK and
as currently drafted all but kills the idea of fair funding for
the nations and regions… this is a short-term fix which will
have far-reaching and destabilising consequences.”

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson defended the deal,
saying that “it’s absurd for the SNP to criticise UK
government spending on top of Barnett in Northern Ireland, when
the exact same thing happens in Scotland.”

The deal means that the DUP will vote with the
minority government on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and any
Brexit and national security legislation.

However, votes on other matters will still need to be
agreed on a case-by-case basis, leaving the door open for further
financial settlements in the future.

Prime Minister Theresa May said “I welcome this agreement
which will enable us to work together in the interest of the
whole United Kingdom, give us the certainty we require as we
embark on our departure from the European Union, and help us
build a stronger and fairer society at home.”

Speaking in Downing Street, the DUP leader Arlene Foster that her
party and the Tories were committed to “building prosperity
for all.”

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