South Yorkshire facing outrageous funding cut of more than half

A South Yorkshire MP who has fought for European funding has described as “outrageous” a decision to slash funding by more than half.

John Healey has been leading a push to secure millions of pounds to boost growth and jobs in South Yorkshire.

But the government have announced today that South Yorkshire’s cash will be cut more harshly so more money can go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Healey said: “What the government is doing is outrageous and unjustifiable.

“They’ve topped up the money going to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so they don’t face cuts of more than five per cent. But to do that they’re taking millions from South Yorkshire, even though our economy is weaker than that of Scotland or Northern Ireland.

“They’re not treating our area fairly. They’re protecting the devolved administrations and making it much worse for us.”

The MP told Business Secretary Vince Cable in a letter last week: “This defies any logic or equity. It also fails the test of fair and effective policy decisions by making the deepest cuts in the areas which most need the jobs and business boost.”

In the current settlement, South Yorkshire receives €410m. From 2014-2020 this will be cut to €180m.

With 1.3m people in South Yorkshire, that means a reduction in funding of €315 per person to €138.