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