The price of Theresa May’s political weakness is now becoming clear. The same Conservative Party which spent the recent election campaign saying there was no money available for the crisis in the NHS and schools has now found at least £1 billion to buy a Parliamentary majority, with some reports suggesting it could be as much as £2bn.
As this is additional spending beyond that laid out in the Spring Budget, the Chancellor must now come forward with an explanation as to how it will be funded. In the context of a forecast increase in Government borrowing this year, the public must be told whether this additional spend will be funded through spending cuts elsewhere, additional tax rises or more borrowing.
There are also important questions to be answered about the implementation and fiscal consequences of devolving corporation tax, VAT and Air Passenger Duty, as well as what this could mean for other devolved administrations.
Let’s call this grubby deal what it is: this is a straightforward political bribe to desperately prop up Theresa May in office.
This Tory-DUP deal is clearly not in the national interest but in May’s party’s interest to help her cling to power.”