MP slams £1bn N.Ire­land pledge af­ter DUP deal

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

A BIRM­ING­HAM MP says there is a stark con­trast be­tween the cuts im­posed on Birm­ing­ham’s ser­vices and Theresa May’s de­ci­sion to “buy” a deal with the DUP for £1 bil­lion.

West Mid­lands po­lice has lost 1,746 po­lice of­fi­cers since 2010, while Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil has cut spend­ing by £600 mil­lion since 2010.

But Mrs May this week agreed a £1 bil­lion deal with the North­ern Ire­land Demo­cratic Union­ist Party (DUP), which will al­low the Tories to stay in power.

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birm­ing­ham Yardley, said: “Places like Birm­ing­ham have con­sis­tently been hit hard­est by seven years of Tory aus­ter­ity and it can be seen on our streets in our parks in our care homes.

“If Theresa May can find £1 bil­lion to buy power from 10 DUP MPs then why was this hard­ship ever nec­es­sary?”

The deal with the DUP in­volves giv­ing North­ern Ire­land an ex­tra £1 bil­lion in Govern­ment fund­ing, with the cash to be spent on hos­pi­tals, schools and roads in the re­gion. The 10 DUP MPs in the House of Com­mons will sup­port the Govern­ment on key votes in­clud­ing the Queen’s Speech, the Bud­get, fi­nance bills and other leg­is­la­tion. Mrs May needs their sup­port to be cer­tain of win­ning the votes, af­ter the gen­eral elec­tion that left her with­out a ma­jor­ity. Down­ing Street said the £1 bil­lion will be spent boost­ing the re­gion’s econ­omy and in­vest­ing in new in­fra­struc­ture, health, ed­u­ca­tion and other sec­tors. Ms Phillips said: “Ei­ther aus­ter­ity was nec­es­sary or it wasn’t. The 10 Birm­ing­ham MPs have long called for fairer fund­ing for Birm­ing­ham it was ig­nored but when she needed power, the money was avail­able.”

> Jess Phillips

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