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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Scotland Loses Out on £2,900 Million in Squalid DUP Deal

There will be no additional funding for Scotland or other parts of the UK after weeks of horse trading led to a deal being struck between the UK government and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The agreement will see an extra £1,000 million in additional cash for Northern Ireland over two years and “increased flexibility” in relation to another £500 million in return for the DUP backing Theresa May’s beleaguered Tory minority government.

Had the deal been replicated in Scotland, an additional £2,900 million – exactly equivalent to the cut imposed on the Scottish Parliament since 2009-10 – would have come to Scotland.

However, Downing Street said the money will not be subject to the Barnett formula which is a fundamental part of how devolved parliaments are funded.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell MP previously said he would not support funding which "deliberately sought to subvert the Barnett rules".

Speaking to BBC Scotland he added: "We have clear rules about funding of different parts of the United Kingdom. If the funding falls within Barnett consequentials, it should come to Scotland."

Mr Mundell was also quoted in newspapers over the weekend saying he would block any "back door funding" for Northern Ireland if it meant the other devolved nations missing out.

Said Kenneth Gibson:

“This grubby deal is an acute embarrassment for the politically Tories in Scotland and Scottish Secretary David Mundell in particular.

“The 13 MPs they have sent from Scotland were humiliated last week when they were ignored and a candidate who failed to be elected was made a Minister via ‘elevation’ to the House of Lords. Now the unlucky 13 must decide whether they represent Scotland at Westminster or Theresa May in Scotland. Clearly, it looks like the latter as they have failed to secure a single extra penny for their constituents whilst the 10 DUP MPS have not only obtained more cash for Northern Ireland but even a say on the Defence and other UK budgets. Corporation Tax may even be devolved to Northern Ireland, which the Tories bitterly opposed for Scotland during our Independence Referendum.

“It is a shameless deal which shows that the Tories have shown that they will stop at nothing to hold on to power. By ignoring the Barnett formula, the Tory Government has ensured Scotland will be missing out on an estimated £2,900 million in funding for our public services. That is the price to Scottish taxpayers for the Tories to stay in power. This breaks the very principles that underpin devolution and the funding settlement the Tories pledged to protect."

Since the late 1970s the Barnett formula has been used to determine annual changes in the block grant to each nation of the UK. When there is a change in funding for devolved services in England, for example health or education, the Barnett formula gives each country the same pounds-per-person change in funding. Thus, any additional funding for Northern Ireland should be matched on a per capita basis across the UK.



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