Election 2015 Northern Ireland

Election 2015: DUP votes 'may be vital' in forming government

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Media captionPeter Robinson said his party would support either the Conservatives or Labour

The DUP has said it believes its votes could be vital in the formation of the next UK government.

Launching its manifesto, the party again ruled out taking part in any future coalition.

However, it said it would be prepared to support a party whose proposals would be in the best interests of Northern Ireland and the UK in general.

It calls for a budget settlement to enable real increases in health and education spending over five years.

On welfare, the DUP wants the abolition of the spare room subsidy also known as the bedroom tax.

The party wants air passenger duty abolished because it says it has a disproportionate impact on regions farthest from the south-east of England.

It wants guaranteed access from Northern Ireland to London's hub airports and a feasibility study into a tunnel or enclosed bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Circumstances

Party leader Peter Robinson said: "After the election we are prepared to support either the Conservative Party or the Labour Party if the circumstances are right; or for that matter neither if the circumstances are not right.

Key priorities

DUP

Main pledges

  • Make Northern Ireland an economic powerhouse
  • Deliver world class public services
  • Create a society based on fairness and opportunity for everyone
  • Make politics and government work better in Northern Ireland and enhance British identity

"And secondly, the price for DUP support in the new Parliament cannot simply be summarised and dismissed as more money for Northern Ireland.

"I believe that delivery of The Northern Ireland Plan can help redefine our place within the United Kingdom.

"So whilst we could well play a pivotal role in the next Parliament, we have a sense of perspective about our size and our capacity to dictate policy at a national level.

"While our influence in the national context will be limited by our size and the wider post-election arithmetic, we would contend that whatever the final Commons headcount we could be in a key position to bring real and substantial change to Northern Ireland."

Other policies

  • The DUP wants the abolition of the Parades Commission and a "new start" on parades
  • Party supports holding a referendum on European Union membership and a minimum spending of 2% of GDP on defence.
  • The DUP manifesto calls for a UK-wide ban on new psychoactive substances also known as "legal highs".
  • The manifesto calls for a freeze in the BBC licence fee to be followed by either its significant reduction or abolition.