Theresa May’s ‘shameless’ £1.6m Brexit bung for towns isn’t even new money
Theresa May’s £1.6 billion ’shameless bung’ to MPs in a bid to get them to back her Brexit deal is not new money, it has been revealed.
Much of Government’s ‘Stronger Towns Fund’ Much will be distributed to Leave-voting Labour heartlands to give communities a boost after leaving the EU.
Angry Labour MPs accused the Prime Minister of trying to woo them to back her plans ahead of this week’s failed second vote.
But the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) have confirmed it is not new money and will be met from existing departmental budgets.
John McDonnell said: “This failing Tory Government reached a new low in attempting to buy the votes of Labour MPs for its failed Brexit deal with the announcement of its so called ‘Towns Fund’ last week.
"We now know that the token amounts offered to Labour MPs was not even new money but taken from the budgets of overstretched departments already savaged by nine years of austerity.
"The Chancellor’s shameful attempts at bribery, giving with one hand while taking with another, demeans the office he holds.”
Mrs May insisted the fund, which would be used to create new jobs, help train local people and boost economic activity, would give towns more control.
The fund will be distributed over a seven-year period, with £1bn of it allocated by need.
The North West will get £281 million, the West Midlands £212 million, Yorkshire and the Humber £197 million, the East Midlands £110 million and the North East £105 million, while the South East will get just £37 million, the South West £35 million, and the East of England £25 million.
Another £600 million will be available through a bidding process to communities in any part of the country.
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