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Tue, 11 August 2020

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EXCL DUP to rake in more than £1 million in public cash set aside for opposition parties

EXCL DUP to rake in more than £1 million in public cash set aside for opposition parties
2 min read

The DUP could receive more than £1 million set aside to help opposition parties despite entering into a voting pact with the Government, PoliticsHome has learned.

Downing Street confirmed today that the party still qualifies for so-called "Short money" from the public purse.

The cash is awarded to opposition parties to help them perform their parliamentary duties in recognition of the fact that, unlike the Government, they do not have the civil service to support them.

Under a formula set out by Parliament, they are entitled to £17,209.01 per year for every MP they have, plus £34.37 annually for every 200 votes they received at the last election.

Because the DUP have 10 MPs and received 292,316 votes on 8 June, they will receive 222,324.60 per year.

That means that if the next election is not until 2022, the party will receive a total of £1,111,623.02.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "This is not a coalition government, this is a confidence and supply deal. The DUP will continue to sit on the opposition benches and will continue to get Short money."

However, since the election Tory and DUP MPs have been referring to each other in the Commons as "friends" - a term usually reserved for members of the same party.

The Downing Street spokesman suggested that had been agreed during the fortnight-long negotiations which eventually led to the Tory-DUP agreement being signed.

Under the terms of the deal, the Government has agreed to spend an extra £1bn in Northern Ireland over the next five years.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Labour MP Kevin Brennan said: "Is that what we get from this PM? No pay rise for nurses but double bubble for her friends in the DUP?”

Theresa May said: "The party that had the largest number of seats and the only government that can form an effective government is the Conservative party - that's the right thing to do and that's what we've done."

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