A senior DUP MP has accused the Government of “climate hysteria” as he demanded an “explanation” over the relative spending level on Northern Ireland.
Responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget, chief whip Sammy Wilson told the Commons he was “encouraged at the path which he has outlined”.
But the MP for East Antrim warned those people in low paid and medium paid jobs “are going to face a rather bleak period in the near future”.
On the cost of energy, Mr Wilson cautioned “we are turning our back on cheaper fuels”.
He said: “Whether it’s with the tax rises already declared, whether it’s the fact that we are already facing huge energy prices, energy increases and I’ve got to say, while people have condemned it in this House, let’s not forget that part of the reason for that is the climate hysteria that seems to have overtaken members in this House and the Government itself, because one of the reasons for higher energy bills is the fact that we are turning our back on cheaper fuels and we are expecting people to heat their homes in more expensive ways.”
Comparing spending across the UK, Mr Wilson argued “relatively speaking, spending in Northern Ireland will be going down”.
He said: “So while in real terms spending in Northern Ireland is going up and I welcome that, relatively speaking, spending in Northern Ireland will be going down.
“That at a time when the Government is talking about levelling up, at a time when there are additional pressures on the Northern Ireland economy because of the Northern Protocol and the impact that has on industry.
“I think that there has to be an explanation as to why, relatively speaking, spending on Northern Ireland will be less over this spending period than it is currently.”
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