PANTOMIME OF SO-CALLED TORY LEVELLING UP IS A SHAM
Only £177m of the latest tranche of levelling up funding is making its way north of the border, while around £1.1bn of the total £1.6bn spent in England has been awarded to areas represented by Tory MPs, with allocations for even the most affluent constituencies such as the Prime Minister’s Richmond seat.
Levelling up was supposed to be about reducing inequality, yet if funding is not based on need, how can it tackle inequality across the UK?
Even the successful bids announced last October cannot now go ahead as envisaged due to the fact that funds earmarked are not inflation-proofed which means sums awarded last October will no longer cover the soaring costs of materials and labour in construction since that time. As a result projects are being scaled back and altered which means they cannot deliver the economic benefits to the extent as first thought when bids were prepared.
It is clear the whole pantomime of so-called levelling up funding is more about Tory PR spin and pork barrel politics – mere smoke and mirrors - than a genuine attempt to reduce inequality across the UK.
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