Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:19 pm on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North 4:19 pm, 8th March 2017

And the money is for over four years, as my hon. Friend rightly points out.

No money was identified to help Hull, particularly with the electrification that we have been fighting for for many years, even though we put together our own plan to bring in private sector money. There was no mention of trying to assist with that. There was also no mention of devolution for Yorkshire and the Humber. That would obviously be a way of accessing funds, but no decision has been made about that.

On education and skills, we all want our children and young people to have access to the best high-quality education possible. The renewables industry is very important to Hull, so we want young people to come through with the skills for that industry. I am really disappointed that the money allocated for education is for the ideological pursuit of free schools and selective education, rather than ensuring that the schools we have are properly funded. There is likely to be a cut of £380 per pupil by 2020 in Hull; 8% of the budget is going. The announcement about busing children who are on free schools meals to selective schools does not help us because there are no selective schools in Hull. If the Government are serious about social mobility, that money would have been much better spent on nursery school funding. It was announced that there were 2.4 million apprenticeship starts in the last Parliament, but today is International Women’s Day, and we know that young women in apprenticeships are paid less and that there are fewer of them in science, technology, engineering and maths.

This Budget is a bit of a damp squib. Hull will have to carry on making its own luck, as it has done for many years. We have been fortunate with the City of Culture and the investment from Siemens. In the spirit of where I started—the headscarf revolutionaries—we will continue to battle for a fair deal for our city from this Government, because we are certainly not getting it at the moment.