SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has challenged Scottish Secretary David Mundell MP to explain whether he asked the UK government to provide additional funding to Scotland as part of the supply-and-confidence deal with the DUP – or whether he simply rubberstamped a grubby deal to keep Theresa May in power.
After losing her majority, Theresa May has agreed a deal with the DUP that will see an extra £1bn spending in Northern Ireland.
This deal has been attacked by both the Scottish and Welsh governments for failing to see extra spending for other devolved governments.
Speaking before the deal was signed, David Mundell said that he was “not going to agree to anything that could be construed as back door funding to Northern Ireland.”
Ms McAlpine has now written to Mr Mundell to ask whether they made any representations for increased funding for Dumfriesshire.
Commenting, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“Theresa May spent the election saying that there was no magic money tree – but was then able to find £1bn down the back of the couch to buy votes in Northern Ireland.
“The SNP support increased spending on our public services, but this is just a grubby deal to keep Theresa May in power. More money for Northern Ireland should also mean more money for Dumfriesshire.
“David Mundell should have been arguing Scotland’s case and arguing Dumfriesshire’s case.
“Unless David Mundell MP can tell us what he did to secure investment in Scotland, we’ll know that he’s just another rubber-stamp.
“The funding mechanism for devolved administrations means that any additional spending for one part of the UK should be matched by investment in other parts also. David Mundell knows fine well that the Barnett Formula was underpinned by promises his government made in The Vow before the 2014 referendum.”
You will be aware that the UK government has now announced a supply and confidence deal with the DUP, that will see increased funding for Northern Ireland.
This is a highly unusual arrangement. It undermines the Barnett Formula which is, you will recall, guaranteed by The Vow of 2014.
You said before the deal that you were “not going to agree to anything that could be construed as back door funding to Northern Ireland”.
I assume, in that case, that you will have made the argument to your government colleagues that Scotland should also benefit from increased spending. Can you confirm this is the case?
If you haven’t, why not?
Joan McAlpine MSP