Theresa May has signed a £1bn ‘confidence and supply deal’ with DUP which aims to sure up her minority Conservative Government and attempt to secure the PMs own position.
Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones has been left fuming saying “Today’s deal represents a straight bung to keep a weak Prime Minister and a faltering Government in office.”
It would appear that the ‘magic money tree’ does in fact exist.
The DUP have held Theresa May to ransom and have come £1 billion better off. Theresa May’s gamble to call a snap election is proving to be one of the most expensive political mistakes of recent times.
This deal is a slap in the face to so many people, especially public sector workers who have had a pay freeze for the past eight years, and is only going to drive further divisions into our society.
It is now down to my Labour colleagues and I to hold this inept government to account and ensure the UK does not take a step back when it comes to women’s rights, LGBT rights or climate action.”
The Welsh Government had called for fair funding for Wales as a result of any deal while Welsh Tory Leader, Andrew RT Davies, also called for equivalent funding for Wales:
The deal signed today will see 10 DUP MPs back the Tories in key Commons votes in return for £1bn extra money pumped into Northern Ireland over the next two years, that’s alongside an extra £500m of previously announced funds.
Coalition of cash -looks like the tory magic money tree has produced un- budgeted fruit paid for by us all https://t.co/UfZsO3QRVr
— David Hanson (@DavidHansonMP) June 26, 2017
Under the Barnett formula, Wales ‘should’ get an additional £1.67bn over the course of the parliament on the back of the DUP ‘bung’ however, as the so-called Barnett formula isn’t set out in law many commentators believe its unlikely Wales will see any ‘extra’ money.
Following the announcement First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said:
Today’s deal represents a straight bung to keep a weak Prime Minister and a faltering Government in office.
Only last week we were told that the priority was to ‘build a more united country, strengthening the social, economic and cultural bonds between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.’
This deal flies in the face of that commitment and further weakens the UK, and as currently drafted all but kills the idea of fair funding for the nations and regions.
It is outrageous that the Prime Minister believes she can secure her own political future by throwing money at Northern Ireland whilst completely ignoring the rest of the UK.
I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Wales this morning to clearly state my view at this unacceptable deal – as Wales’ voice at the Cabinet table, he has a duty to fight against this deal and secure additional funding for our country.
However, the UK Government are not the only ones with questions to answer today.
It appears that the DUP have given the Tories the go-ahead to legislate how they please on Brexit, which could include taking powers and resources away from the devolved administrations.
This is a short-term fix which will have far-reaching and destabilising consequences.
According to FullFact.org The Barnett formula aims to make changes to funding for services in England have the same pound-per-person effect on the money which goes to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for those services.
It’s not set out in law, and in practice the Treasury decides how to apply it. It can also be bypassed if the Treasury decides certain spending is outside the formula. If the devolved governments disagree they can argue the case.