Tories hand millions to wealthiest councils – but there’s only cuts for Kirklees
Labour MP Paula Sherriff has accused the Government of a stitch-up after the Chancellor handed hundreds of millions of pounds to the wealthiest Tory councils to ease the pain of spending cuts – but offered nothing to Kirklees.
Kirklees has suffered some of the highest spending cuts since 2010, but has received nothing at all in yesterday’s announcement. Meanwhile, leafy Surrey, one of England’s wealthiest shires, has been given a hand-out of £24m despite suffering far fewer cuts in recent years.
Tory MPs became alarmed when they realised their areas might soon see cuts similar to those imposed on the rest of the country. They threatened to vote down the Government’s planned cuts until Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced a £300 million ‘transitional grant’. The Government have refused to say where the extra money comes from.
Labour analysis shows that £255 million of the grant – 85% – goes to Tory councils. Areas with Labour run councils receive just £17 million, despite suffering the harshest cuts since 2010 and having higher levels of deprivation.
“Kirklees Council has already suffered unprecedented cuts of over £105million since 2010 with millions more to be slashed in the coming years. My constituency of Dewsbury has some of the most deprived areas in the country yet the government continues to turn a blind eye to the Northern Poorhouse they are creating.
“We now know that the government are paying off their Tory run councils in wealthy areas with tax payers’ money. How can this be fair? The Chancellor once said we are all this together yet he cuts taxes for millionaires, lets Google off the hook with millions in unpaid tax and continues to cut northern, Labour run councils to the bone at the same time as giving handouts to leafy affluent Tory run councils.”