Responding to this week’s Budget (Wednesday 27 October) and the announcements over Rotherham’s and Barnsley’s bids in the Levelling Up Fund, Wentworth and Dearne Labour MP John Healey has said:

“It’s good to see Rotherham Council’s bids to boost visitors at historic Wentworth Woodhouse and Thrybergh country park have been successful. I strongly backed the bids and I welcome this Budget funding which will help to boost local tourism.

“But I’m deeply disappointed that Ministers have ignored the strong bid for helping Rotherham’s local high streets, like Wath and Dinnington. I’m also angry that Ministers have ignored all Barnsley’s ‘levelling up’ bids. This is part of a pattern we’ve seen with the Government freezing out areas like Rawmarsh, Swinton and Barnsley from the funding they need to reward more affluent areas with money in the South.

“The Budget is a big disappointment for working people, with the Chancellor sticking to his rise in national insurance tax and his removal of the £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit. This piles on extra pressure when everyone is struggling with the rising costs of living. The Government could help but is letting people down.”

Figures obtained last month by John Healey MP from the House of Commons library confirm the number of households receiving Universal Credit in Rotherham has doubled in the last year to 27, 500 and in Barnsley it is up 80% over the last year to 26,700 with one in three working but needing the top-up to make ends meet. You can read more on the local Universal Credit figures revealed by John here.