Conservatives’ £1bn DUP election deal will need parliament’s approval

Written by Liz Bates on 11 September 2017 in News

The Conservatives confidence and supply deal must be rubber-stamped by parliament

Theresa May and Arlene Foster negotiate deal - Image credit: PA Images

The Conservatives’ £1bn deal with the DUP must be rubber-stamped by parliament, the UK Government has admitted after being challenged by Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.

The promise of an extra £1bn in funding for Northern Ireland was part of a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement’ put together to prop up Theresa May’s minority government after the Conservatives lost seats in the general election.

But the Treasury solicitor, who heads the UK Government legal department, has today confirmed that the offer “will have appropriate parliamentary authorisation” and that as yet “no timetable has been set for the making of such payments”.

The admission came in response to a letter from Miller and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which challenged the legality of the deal.

Miller said: “It beggars belief that, neither at the time the Government sealed its dubious deal with the DUP in exchange for their votes in the Commons, nor at any point since, has the Government made it clear that the £1bn of taxpayers’ money for Northern Ireland could only be handed over following parliamentary approval.”

Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, General Secretary of the IWGB, said: “Many IWGB members’ jobs depend on public money, like foster care workers and low-paid outsourced university staff.

“They are routinely told that there’s no money available to improve their pay, holidays and other terms and conditions they demand.

“Yet when it comes to keeping themselves in power, this government’s fiscal discipline quickly dissipates.

“There’s undoubtedly a need for increased social spending throughout the UK, but this should be on a basis of fairness; not self-serving party politics.”

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