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Scottish and Welsh leaders' fury over DUP-Tory pact

By Catriona Webster

A deal struck between the UK Government and the DUP has been described as "the worst kind of pork-barrel politics" and "a straight bung", by the first ministers of Scotland and Wales.

Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones reacted furiously to news the agreement - which includes £1bn in new funding for Northern Ireland - would not result in a knock-on funding boost for other parts of the UK.

Downing Street has said that as the allocation is being made as part of the block grant to Northern Ireland, there will be no consequentials through the Barnett formula, the mechanism used to distribute Treasury funds to the devolved nations.

Ms Sturgeon said that by "ignoring" the Barnett formula, Scotland would lose out on around £2.9bn for public services while the Welsh Government estimates put its loss at £1.67bn.

Mr Jones said: "Today's deal represents a straight bung to keep a weak Prime Minister and a faltering Government in office.

"Only last week we were told that the priority was to build a more united country, strengthening the social, economic and cultural bonds between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

"This deal flies in the face of that commitment and further weakens the UK, and as currently drafted all but kills the idea of fair funding for the nations and regions."

Ms Sturgeon said: "In concluding this grubby, shameless deal, the Tories have shown that they will stop at nothing to hold on to power, even sacrificing the very basic principles of devolution.

"The Tories' excuses are simply empty spin and expose that they once again plan on short-changing Scotland.

"This is not a city deal - it is simply an attempt to pull the wool over people's eyes.

"This is the worst kind of pork-barrel politics, which has shredded the last vestiges of credibility of this weakened Prime Minister."

The agreement was attacked as "unfair" by the Taxpayers Alliance.

Research director Alex Wild said: "The unfair way in which money is allocated between the home nations has been clear for decades, best illustrated by the significantly higher levels of public spending in Scotland than in considerably poorer parts of England.

"But until there is a major decentralisation of tax raising powers, Westminster politicians will always have ultimate control of the purse strings and be able to dish out taxpayers' cash in a way that benefits them more than the general public."

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