Patricia Gibson MP has slated the “staggering incompetence” of the UK Tory Government after it was revealed that EU money allocated to the UK has already been clawed back because it has not been spent.
The UK received more than £3.5 million for 2014 to 2020 from the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, to be used in projects such as child poverty, homelessness or food banks.
After almost six years, the UK Government has failed to deliver spending aimed at addressing "the worst forms of poverty" and so far, about £580,000 of unspent cash has been reclaimed, with a similar amount at risk of being deducted this year.
The House of Lords EU Committee has written to the Home Office saying it is "unbelievably inept" that this funding has not been used.
Lord Jay, chairman of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee said:
"The government had an opportunity to help support the most disadvantaged people in the UK but has utterly failed to do so, with £580,000 already reclaimed by the EU. Having to give back some of the funding is unbelievably inept.
“The other 27 EU states have found spent their allocations on some of the most deprived people. Only the UK has failed. And failed miserably.”
Patricia Gibson MP added:
“It is unbelievable, at a time when public services face such budget pressures, that money had to be given back because a way hasn't been found of investing it in assisting those who need it most.”
“This is yet another example of the UK Tory Government’s staggering incompetence.”
Across the rest of the EU, about 13 million people received assistance from this funding, with the most common support being in food aid.
The Home Office says there are now plans to use the remaining funds.
Patricia is seeking assurances that such plans will actually be delivered.