The DUP Coalition Deal

The Deal

The DUP agrees to support the government on all motions of confidence; and on the Queen’s Speech; the Budget; finance bills; money bills, supply and appropriation legislation and Estimates.

In line with the parties’ shared priorities for negotiating a successful exit from the European Union and protecting the country in the light of recent terrorist attacks, the DUP also agrees to support the government on legislation pertaining to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union; and legislation pertaining to national security.

Support on other matters will be agreed on a case by case basis.

The DUP agrees to support the government in votes in the UK Parliament, in line with this agreement.


The Financial Support

This section sets out the financial support the UK government would be prepared to make available to Northern Ireland, following discussions between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party.

The UK government has made available up to £2.5 billion of financial support and flexibility for the Northern Ireland Executive over the course of the past 3 years, by virtue of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements.

The UK government, however, recognises the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland’s history and the effect this has had on its economy and people from all parts of the community, while recognising too the need to be fair to all parts of the United Kingdom. Both parties re-affirm their commitment to the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland. Following discussions between them, and in order to support their shared objectives of strengthening the economy, the UK government is prepared to make available additional financial support to the power-sharing Executive.


OTE Analysis

The DUP are tied by the agreement to support the government in matters pertaining to Brexit and the Armed Forces, in other matters they can chose their own path.

The DUP have also brought their concerns to the table regarding the importance of Northern Irish agriculture and Northern Irish devolvement.

The deal also states that the DUP will have no special say in UK government political talks regarding Northern Ireland, and that beyond the covenants of the deal they will form their elected part of the Northern Irish Assembly.

The UK Government are allocating up £200m a year to complete infrastructure projects, including as a priority the York Street Interchange Project where 3 major Northern Irish roads converge and £75m per year for faster broadband. The broadband allocation is inline with an existing deal with Stormont.

The new Executive will prioritise devolving Corporation Tax rates, allowing Northern Ireland to set it’s own. This in conjunction with the UK promise to promote Northern Ireland through it’s embassy network, a review of VAT and APD (air passenger duty), and investment in Enterprise Zones of £20m per year for 5 years has interesting connotations including the (OTE inferred) suggestion of Northern Ireland becoming a sort of tax haven style annex of the British Isles.

Health and Education directives state a total of £50m per year for 2 years emergency response funding, £100m per year for 2 years for improvements to the health service specifically and £10m per year for 5 years to assist with mental health.

Any leftovers can be spent at the Northern Ireland Executives discretion.

This financial deal appears to be inline with Fiscal Policy as set out in the Stormont Agreement of 2014, if somewhat accelerated.


OTE Comment

Both the right and left are focussing on the finance of the deal, often making comparative comments on where money would otherwise be spent. This is populist thought either by referencing the financial cuts affecting the NHS or by referencing what might have happened should there have been a Labour Government.

What we find thought provoking is what is the grand plan by spending so much, so quickly on Northern Ireland?

The Right Says

The right appear to be pretty quiet on substantial positive opinion regarding the deal, choosing instead to report on the left wing reporting. This says to us they’re happy with it and are ready to move on.

The Left Says

The left have chosen to attack the deal based on where the money could have otherwise gone, based on the idea that the Government made the deal as a “bung” to the DUP to ensure their support through the upcoming parliament.