Almost £2bn has been slashed from promised development spending in poorer areas of the UK, despite Boris Johnson’s vow to “level up the country”.
The government had pledged to match lost EU funding – to “tackle inequality and deprivation” – which would have required at least £4.5bn over the next three years.
But Rishi Sunak’s Budget reveals just £2.6bn has been allocated and reallocates the fund to improving “functional numeracy skills”, to boost job prospects.
The move will provoke fury in many ‘Red Wall’ areas of England and in Scotland and Wales – which were big recipients of EU structural funds before Brexit cut off the flow.
The Conservative party manifesto at the 2019 general election promised to “at a minimum match” the lost funds in each nation of the UK.
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