Rona Mackay: Tory-DUP deal tramples on Barnett Formula

Rona Mackay: Tory-DUP deal tramples on Barnett Formula

A DEAL between the Tories and the DUP will “short-change” Scotland, MSP Rona Mackay has said.

If Northern Ireland is dished out an additional £1 billion, Scotland should collect £2.9 billion, according to the United Kingdom’s Barnett Formula rule.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden has called out Scottish secretary David Mundell and leader Ruth Davidson for boasting about standing up for the Barnett Formula — with Mundell quoted on Sunday saying he would not support anything that “deliberately sought to subvert the Barnett rules”.

Ms Mackay said: “The financial aspect of this deal between the Tories and the DUP clearly shows how little they care about Scotland.

“Scotland should be getting billions more if Northern Ireland is to receive more – that is how the Barnett Formula works and one of the core rules of devolution.

“This is the worst kind of pork-barrel politics, which has shredded the last vestiges of credibility of this weakened Prime Minister. There is no way this unstable cabal will be able to last.

“David Mundell and Ruth Davidson now have to either eat their words or rally Scotland’s Tory MPs against Theresa May. We have to stand together and defy this insult to devolution in the UK.”

ENDS

What is the Barnett Formula?

The Barnett formula is a mechanism used by the UK treasury to automatically adjust amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is supposed to reflect public service spending in England, England and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate.

  • If the £1bn of additional funding for Northern Ireland was subject to the Barnett formula, Scotland should receive £2.9bn of extra funds.
  • Using the population proportions used in the 2015 Spending Review (Annex D):
Population as proportion of England Additional funding (£bn)
England 29.50
Northern Ireland 3.39% 1
Scotland 9.85% 2.91
Wales 5.69% 1.68

Comments by David Mundell:

David Mundell, Sunday Politics Scotland, (18 June): “I certainly won’t support funding which is deliberately sought to subvert the Barnett rules.”

David Mundell, Sunday Mail (25 June): “The Barnett formula is to Scotland’s advantage. I’m not going to do anything to prejudice that. Any funding that goes to Northern Ireland, then Barnett rules will ensure the appropriate funding comes to Scotland. We’re going to have a totally transparent arrangement with the DUP. I’m not going to agree to anything that could be construed as back door funding to Northern Ireland.”

David Mundell, Sunday Post (25 June): The Tories are “going to have a totally transparent arrangement with the DUP. I’m not going to agree to anything that could be construed as back-door funding to Northern Ireland. There are rules. The Barnett Formula is to Scotland’s advantage. I’m not going to do anything to prejudice it. Any funding that goes to Northern Ireland, then Barnett rules will ensure the appropriate funding comes to Scotland.”

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