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DUP help Tories defeat bid to scrap public sector pay cap and recruit more police

By Richard Wheeler

The very first vote of the new Parliament last night saw the DUP ensure the Conservative government's survival.

The party helped the minority government by defeating a Labour amendment to the Queen's Speech.

Labour had called for an end to the public sector pay cap, the recruitment of extra police and firefighters, and expressed regret over the failure of the government's two-year programme of laws to end cuts to the two services.

But the Conservatives, reliant on support from the DUP following a controversial £1bn funding agreement, saw off the Labour proposal by 323 votes to 309, majority 14.

All 10 DUP MPs joined with 313 Conservatives to help defeat the amendment.

Independent Lady Hermon, who represents North Down, voted in favour of Labour's amendment.

Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir said afterwards that the wages of public sector workers in Britain had become the first victims of the DUP-Tory deal.

"Tonight the DUP voted to continue to cap any rise of wages for emergency and public service workers in Britain to 1%," the former Stormont Finance Minister said.

"This is effectively a cut in real terms as wages continue to fall behind inflation in the wake of the Tories disastrous Brexit agenda."

It followed a day of confusion over the government's approach to the public sector pay cap, with a senior Downing Street source initially signalling ministers were ready to review the 1% limit on pay rises.

But Mrs May's official spokesman later played down the suggestions, insisting the "policy has not changed".

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph