Paisley: hundreds of millions…that would ease burdens in Northern Ireland (updated with Donaldson’s comments on Daily Politics)

This morning’s Independent [not printed in NI, but article available online] carries an interview by David McKittrick with Ian Paisley Jnr on its front page. The DUP’s shopping list has got longer …

On the fifth day of electioneering the DUP said to me:
stronger controls on immigration and border security,
no more bedroom tax,
an EU referendum,
two percent of GDP spent on defence,
and hundreds of millions to ease the burdens in Northern Ireland.

Independent newspaper front page Tue 24 March 2015The North Antrim MP restated the DUP’s position that they are not interested in cabinet positions or “to be part of a formal government arrangement” but added to Nigel Dodds’ previous limited statement of policies that would attract the unionist MPs towards a confidence and supply arrangement after May’s election:

“Northern Ireland gets just under £13bn a year [from Westminster]. There’s no reason why, over the period of the next five years, that couldn’t be increased by x billion per year. I think that would be a very attractive deal – I’d break my arm for it,” he said.

Asked precisely how much extra the DUP would be seeking, he replied: “We’d have to work that out. But it would be hundreds of millions; it wouldn’t be a paltry sum. It would be something that would ease burdens in Northern Ireland.

It’s not clear whether Ian Paisley was speaking with the authority of the DUP’s Westminster team, or whether he was caught saying what the DUP don’t want to be heard asking for.

It would be cheaper to call a fresh general election than do a deal with the DUP to get into government!

Who could fault a politician for fighting for the best deal for his electorate … unless you believe that you can’t spend your way out of conflict and Northern Ireland has to face up to reality and stop its dysfunctional behaviour of believing that pocket money grows on trees.

– – –

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson was asked about the DUP’s terms of support on BBC’s Daily Politics and emphasised “putting national issues first” over “getting a fair share for Northern Ireland”.

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  • IrishSonic

    Does Jackie Healy-Raesly own a flatcap?

  • “…unless you believe that you can’t spend your way out of conflict and Northern Ireland has to face up to reality and stop its dysfunctional behaviour of believing that pocket money grows on trees.” Which seems to be SF’s line. Surely being elected to Westminster and taking advantage of an position afforded by the electorate for the electorate is what being elected to Westminster is about (and mostly afforded only on the periphery of Westminster). Notwithstanding your own personal viewpoint so clearly stated in previous paragraph.

  • Should have added not only is money growing on trees the basis of SF policy, but quite clearly the Greens (organic money, of course), SDLP, most prominently and the rest given half a chance. For the DUP that ‘chance’ might just present itself, or not. That is what our democratic system is all about.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    The English are going to really want rid of us after reading this.

  • Ernekid

    Keep leeching off the Brits lads. Its what’s Unionism is all about.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    As Nationalism is about bleeding the country dry….

  • Brian O’Neill

    To be fair to him (as phrase I never thought I would utter) they might as well get some cash out of the deal. As the great political philosopher Groucho Marx once said:

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

  • barnshee

    “Keep leeching off the Brits lads. Its what’s Unionism is all about.”

    I think we have already identified where the “leeches” are -and they are not “unionist”

    “As our interactive map above shows, the north and west of Northern Ireland and Belfast are said to be the areas which should brace themselves for the biggest financial impact.”

    http://www.thedetail.tv/issues

    http://journals.cambridge.org/

    I think its clear where the majority of expenditure lies (with substantial “leeching” off the British Funded Education system)

  • Nimn

    Political prostitution at its best. A party which couldn’t care less who they get into bed with at Westminster as long as the price is right.

  • chrisjones2

    Well, Ian Junior does have to pay a very high rent on the office in Ballymena the BBC identified

  • chrisjones2

    I award you an RPM for that comment

    I might as well., Everyone seems to have one now

  • Sharpie

    He’s only saying what everyone else knows they are thinking

  • Pasty2012

    Yes quite right. The Shankill Road DLA claimants are entitled to be part of British Austerity and those Shinners have no right to be denying them of their cultural rights – although I have yet to see any protests being organized by the Loyal Crew in support of British Austerity I am told that there will be road blocks organized closer to the election to highlight the issue.