Ipswich MP Sandy Martin says DUP deal will mean Suffolk will miss out on cash
PUBLISHED: 10:27 28 June 2017
Labour’s Sandy Martin has called the government’s £1billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party a “bribe” and warned the money raised for the deal means Suffolk will lose out.
The Ipswich MP hit out after Theresa May finally signed a confidence and supply deal with the Northern Irish party after two weeks of wrangling.
Under the arrangement – which is intended to last until 2022 – the DUP guaranteed its 10 MPs will vote with the government on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and legislation relating to Brexit and national security.
The Conservatives can now form an absolute majority – but just seven rebels from within their own ranks could mean a lost vote in the House of Commons.
But Mr Martin said the deal will be hard to take for many, especially those in Suffolk who voted Conservative: “This money for Northern Ireland is a very significant amount when you take into account the population.
“If that amount was replicated across the UK England would get something like £59billion. Of course that won’t happen.
“We are not opposed to money being spent on public services in Northern Ireland. But this is not the way they should have got the money and it should not be at the expense of other regions in the UK.
“Imagine how we could spent that money here in Suffolk – schools, mental health nurses, cancer care provision for children, drug and alcohol prevention to stop people offending and ending up in prison.
“The Tories said they had no money for anything. Now it seems they have some cash to keep themselves in power.
“It is nothing more than a bribe – a bribe to MPs but also a bribe to voters by saying that the party in power will always give you what you want. It is not good democracy.”
And Mr Martin thinks the ability to find cash to fund the DUP deal proves austerity is over. He said: “I always believed that austerity was a political choice rather than a necessity.
“They fact this extra cash has been found proves that beyond any doubt.”