And there could be more dosh to come! But the government rejects demands from a chorus of women MPs to fund abortions for NI women

The payout could be higher as a result of studies of the impact of lower corporation tax and scrapping air passenger duty.  In its financial analysis the FT points out that

Costs will be higher if the renewed commitment to allow Northern Ireland to set its own lower corporation tax rate and air passenger duty results in lost revenues to the UK exchequer.

The DUP has confirmed to the Guardian that they will seek assurances that the block grant will not be cut as a consequence, thus creating a further instalment of subsidy.

The FT calculates the cost of the deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party at about £15 a person across the UK. If the money were shared equally in Northern Ireland, it would amount to £540 each. If £540 extra per person were spent across the UK, the cost would be £35bn.

The £1bn is also equivalent to 2.9 per cent of the Northern Irish economy in 2015, the most recent year of data. For the UK economy as a whole, extra spending of 2.9 per cent implies a £58bn bill

The annual cost in the first two years is £455m a year, which amounts to an increase in public spending of roughly 1.3 per cent of the Northern Irish economy or £245 a year per person. To pay for this will cost everyone in the UK £7 each a year.

. he equivalent amounts can be estimated either on a per person basis or on the size of the regional economies. For Scotland, that would mean the equivalent of between £1.3bn and £1.7bn a year. For London, which has a higher gross domestic product, it is the equivalent of between £2bn and £5bn a year.

Northern Ireland will receive an additional £1bn in funding for infrastructure, health, education and other services. That injection — equivalent to nearly £540 per resident — is especially contentious after an election where many more than expected across the UK voted for the Labour party and its promises of greater public investment.

“How is it right that austerity has ended for my cousins in Bessbrook but not my constituents in Billinge?” asked Conor McGinn, a Northern Ireland-born Labour MP for the Merseyside seat of St Helens North.

Yet the risk is that the additional funding is not seen as enough. The money will increase the province’s funding by less than 3 per cent, from its current level of £20bn. “It will allow the executive to avoid some hard choices, but is it a game changer for Northern Ireland? No,” said Paul MacFlynn, an economist at the Nevin Economic Research Institute, a trade union-affiliated think-tank

In Commons exchanges Damian Green the First Secretary of State who led the negotiations on the government side,  tried to play down the  scale of the  special treatment for Northern Ireland, insisting that  Glasgow and Cardiff  were among several GB cities that had benefited from City Deals outside  the block grant, worth hundreds of millions of pounds each.  A UK Prosperity Fund of £23 billion partly created from savings as a result leaving the EU was already benefiting all UK regions – with lots more to come! Whatever happened to austerity?

Green was  repeatedly pressed by half a dozen women Labour MPs to pay for Northern Ireland women to have abortions in England, including the  former leadership candidate Yvette Cooper and the campaigner Stella Creasy. They were joined by the former Conservative minister and anti-Brexiteer Anna Soubry who asked the government to think again.

Damian Green’s reply that “this very sensitive matter” was one for Stormont under devolution is not quite correct. The Supreme Court decision of a fortnight ago found by 5 to 3 that the Health Secretary for England was right to deny funding out of respect for the decision of the devolved body to block abortion. It did not rule that the English minister’s hands were tied and so presumably, his discretion remains.

What a gesture it would have been  if the Conservatives had  balanced credit to the DUP with a concession to the social liberals in the Assembly. In the real world however this was hardly likely to happen on the day the DUP “ saved “ the Tory government. Nevertheless perhaps an opening is being created that could yet be exploited …

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  • Croiteir

    The abortionists hopes are dashed – thankfully

  • Old Mortality

    The resentment to this deal among opposition politicians is perfectly understandable and the DUP may come to regret having extracted such a generous bounty. I only hope that is used for genuine investment and not ‘investment’ in teachers and nurses in the form of populist pay increases. Perhaps that is too much to expect from our vote-buying politicians of all hues.
    There is unlikely to be any move on corporation tax or APD unless and until the UK formally leaves the EU as a compensating reduction in the block grant would be required whatever assurances the DUP think they have negotiated.

  • Korhomme

    Sadly…temporarily.

  • Korhomme

    The backlash against this bung has already started, according to the Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/26/tories-and-the-dup-reach-deal-to-prop-up-minority-government

    And there’s a delightful point made by Lord Heseltine, referring to a comment by Enoch Powell:

    Once you have paid the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Danes

    Today, rather than the Danes we have the DUP…or are they really crocodiles?

  • runnymede

    The Guardian is clueless

  • Georfe Jungle

    Next you will be quoting the Indy.

  • Korhomme
  • tanyaj

    Not only ‘a chorus of women’ unless you know more about Peter Bottomley than I do… https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/23/mps-argue-northern-irish-women-right-to-abortion-nhs?CMP=share_btn_link

  • Zorin001

    The Times has a pretty strong front page splash on the deal today as well so its not just the Left Press having a pop.

  • Reader

    Korhomme: Enoch Powell
    Rudyard Kipling.
    Easy to avoid paying the Danegeld – win an election properly or hook up with a different party. It’s not a good metaphor – though it’s quite a good poem.

  • Gaygael

    Temporarily.

  • Korhomme

    I didn’t realise that, thanks.

    Perhaps, in future, I should be wary of Tories girting quotations.