Scottish Labour, Scottish Greens and Scottish Lib Dems condemn £1bn pay out
THE deal between the Tories and the DUP risks “weakening the bonds of the union” if similar funding isn’t given to Scotland and Wales, according to Scottish Labour.
A spokesperson for the party said it was “vital that all nations and regions of the UK also get extra funding to end austerity”.
The statement came as the Scottish and Welsh governments launched an official objection to the £1bn of extra funding for Northern Ireland.
“The Scottish Government fundamentally disagrees with the way in which this additional funding for Northern Ireland has been allocated.” Derek MacKay
The devolved administrations invoked the formal dispute resolution process through the joint ministerial committee over the pay out, with both finance secretaries of writing to the Treasury to begin the process.
Scottish Finance Secretary Derek MacKay said in a release on the government’s website: “The Scottish Government fundamentally disagrees with the way in which this additional funding for Northern Ireland has been allocated.
“We have repeatedly made the point that all areas to which the £1bn funding package has been allocated are devolved matters and therefore the Barnett Formula should apply.”
The Barnett Formula is the benchmark for the level of funding that the devolved governments receive in their block grants, which provides funds for devolved matters.
The formula takes the increase in England for a certain service, multiplied by the percentage of the population in the devolved nation when compared to England and multiplying that by the comparability of the service in the devolved nation to the service in England.
MacKay also looked to quash any possibility of the Tories passing the payment off as a city deal-style investment, saying: “Any suggestion that this funding arrangement is similar to previous funding for city deals in Scotland is wrong and not in any way comparable,” adding that city deals rely on investment from devolved governments and local councils as well as UK funding.
A Scottish Conservatives spokesperson said: “The SNP has started a formal dispute with the UK Government. That process will play out over the coming months.
“The SNP is happy to receive money outside the Barnett formula, like the city deals, when it suits.”
“The SNP is happy to receive money outside the Barnett formula, like the city deals, when it suits.” Scottish Conservatives spokesperson
Scottish Labour has backed the objection by the Welsh and Scottish administrations, saying: “If the price of propping up this miserable Tory government is hundreds of millions of pounds for Northern Ireland, it is vital that all nations and regions of the UK also get extra funding to end austerity.”
Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie described the deal as “an insult”, adding: “Investment in health, education and infrastructure are urgently needed, but that must mean an end to Tory cuts everywhere, not just in exchange for the votes Theresa May needs to cling on to power after her dismal election result.”
The Scottish Liberal Democrats also weighed in on the matter, saying the deal “will have damaging long-term effects on the country”, before stressing that the “principles around the Barnett formula and devolution should be respected.”
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