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£1bn Deal Agreed Between Conservatives & DUP and The Death of Austerity

An agreement has been reached for the confidence and supply arrangement to prop up the Conservative Minority Government.

Image by NewStatesman

Following the shambolic election campaign, embarrassing Queen's Speech and the controversial move to hold a 2-year parliamentary session, Theresa May has today announced that a deal has been reached between the Conservative Party and the right-wing DUP.

With the bare-bones of the deal being a confidence and supply arrangement, the PM has circumvented the need for a formal (and equal) coalition of parties to form a majority government, instead opting for a case-by-case support agreement with the DUP.

The nature of this agreement is that where required, the DUP will vote en bloc (they will be told how to vote as a party, by their leader) to support the Conservative government, where they are strongly opposed by the rest of Parliament.

As we saw during the Cameron-Clegg coalition, any compromise between parties means that they are unable to deliver the election manifesto as promised. We have already seen several cornerstone election pledges that have been completely scrapped. 

One of the most interesting revelations to come to light during the fall-out of this election is that Austerity seems to be falling by the wayside in terms of priorities of the Conservative Party.

Not only has May u-turned on policies that supported her "magic money tree" analogy (Removing triple lock on pensions, means-testing winter fuel allowance) but she has also promised £1bn of extra funding to N.Ireland.

This beggars belief, after having been told over the last 7 years that the conservatives are the only ones that can be trusted to "balance the books" (An idea that is losing support rapidly) it turns out they have no idea what they are doing. How can you run an election campaign on the basis that you have made difficult decisions as to where money can and can't be spent, yet as soon as you get elected (barely) you turn on a dime and rewrite all the figures?

The fact is that those on the left understood that the Conservative manifesto had never been costed, we understood that the idea of saving by cutting services doesn't work, and we understood that this inequality is not accidental. What I still fail to understand, is how anyone can continue to hold faith in this Party or its leader.

For myself, a 20-something Brit who has only held an interest in Politics for just over 2 years, what I am starting to realise is that these u-turns, these lies carry far more severe consequences than we perceive at the time.

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£1bn Deal Agreed Between Conservatives & DUP and The Death of Austerity
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