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Monday 19th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

JOHN McDONNELL penned a letter to Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday demanding he publicise the cost of any secret deals made with the DUP.

The shadow chancellor voiced concern about the Democratic Unionist Party’s wish to scrap air passenger duty levied on passengers in Northern Ireland.

He pointed to HM Revenue & Customs estimates that the total revenue raised in 2015-16 was about £90 million — enough to fund 2,000 firefighters.

“This figure is an estimate and may need adjustment to take into account further devolved matters,” Mr McDonnell writes.

“However, a revenue stream of this scale is significant and would pay for the equivalent of, for example, an additional 2,000 firefighters.

“I am writing to ask whether the government has been asked for this measure by the DUP, has agreed to it or is considering it.”

Mr McDonnell also demanded, “in the interest of basic openness and transparency,” that the government publish any measures discussed with the DUP and set out their financial implications.

The DUP’s demands to scrap the air passenger duty are contained in the party’s Northern Ireland plan.

Communist Party of Ireland general secretary Eugene McCartan warned that the DUP’s priority would be to gain more public money and reduce corporation tax on business profits to serve its own narrow interests in Northern Ireland.

Addressing the Communist Party of Britain’s executive meeting in Croydon yesterday, Mr McCartan said: “The most right-wing and reactionary party in Northern Ireland will be backed by the most right-wing and reactionary major party in Britain.”