Stronger Towns Fund

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:42 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 6:42 pm, 4th March 2019

Another day, another tawdry bribe by this Government to distract and to grab headlines from their failing Brexit plans.

First, I want to ask the Secretary of State whether this money will be Barnettised for Scotland, and when can we expect to receive that money? Every single—[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I want to know whether this will be Barnettised because every single city deal so far has seen Scotland short-changed, with more money going in from the Scottish Government than from the UK Government time and again.

I do not grudge any town any investment, but this is simply a bauble on the bare Christmas tree of austerity. The £1.6 billion announced today pales into insignificance compared with what the EU funds would have put in. The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions estimates that, over the same period, the UK would be due €13 billion. The £33 million for the south-west alone is only one Grayling.

The Secretary of State still cannot tell us anything useful about the UK shared prosperity fund—how it will work, whether it will be fully devolved to the Scottish Government to administer and whether its needs-based formula will apply to the money that he seeks to dole out. Is this another power grab? Will the funding levels for this shared prosperity fund be at the very least the same level that they are at now, because the Scottish National party will not accept one penny less?

We are getting into this Brexit situation, but Scotland did not choose Brexit, we did not choose this Tory Government and we do not choose to have this Tory Government rip us off time and again. We have seen Northern Ireland getting £1 billion un-Barnettised, and these are further funds going un-Barnettised, as far as we know. The CPMR says that Scotland would be due to receive €840 million in structural funding between now and 2027. Will the Government tell us exactly how much Scotland is getting and when we will get it?