Michael Gove short-changes Liverpool in post-Brexit fund

Liverpool is about to obtain £52million from the federal government’s post-Brexit ‘shared prosperity fund’, it has been introduced.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has stated the money, which nationally quantities to £2.5bn over the following three years, will “help spread opportunity and level up the country”.

But there are accusations that the town has been short-changed by the fund, which replaces cash beforehand awarded by the European Union.

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In the earlier three years, the town area has obtained £80m from Brussels – significantly greater than what the Tory authorities in Westminster is providing for the following three.

Northern Powerhouse Partnership director Henri Murison stated: “We can’t escape the fact that this is a huge drop in funding available for economic development.

“There is not an overlap between funding intervals, which suggests much less cash general, nor will areas get seven years of certainty as they did with EU structural funds.

“What’s more, places have less freedom to spend funding as they choose and must run spending decisions past Whitehall beforehand. This is a big step backwards and is very far from being real devolution.”

Think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies said the SPF was a “missed opportunity” and blasted the Department for Levelling Up for following an “arbitrary” formula that favoured regions like Cornwall and the Welsh Valleys, at the expense of the North.

IFS associate director David Phillips said: “Brexit provided an opportunity to rationalise the funding framework, ensuring it used up-to-date estimates of population and socio-economic conditions.

“It is disappointing that, instead, the UK government has ‘taken back control’ only to stick to an arbitrary, poorly designed, out-of-date funding allocation mechanism.”

Mr Gove was however bullish in announcing the SPF this morning, he said: “We have taken back control of our money from the EU and we are empowering those who know their communities best to deliver on their priorities.

“The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to unleash the creativity and talent of communities that have for too long been overlooked and undervalued.

“By targeting this funding at areas of the country that need it the most, we will help spread opportunity and level up in every part of the United Kingdom.”

The Echo has been instructed the allocation system for UK Shared Prosperity Fund takes under consideration “native inhabitants knowledge, and a broadly based mostly measure of want, together with components like unemployment and earnings ranges”.

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