Treasury Level Up Rural Areas Excluded from Cash, Report Claims

According to a new study, the government’s flagship Level-up Fund has unfairly biased rural communities towards the “red wall” seats, keeping them away from rural deprivation pockets.

The calculations used to allocate the government’s £ 4.8bn leveled cash appear to be “arbitrary” and opaque. We found a report commissioned by RuralServicesNetwork (RNS) and produced by economic consultancy Pragmatix.

The report said it was not a transparent methodology, but “lacked a clear and consistent explanation of how ministerial decisions were applied.” “As a result, more money was allocated to urban areas in the northern non-metropolitan areas, and away from more local governments.”

“Although detailed, the government’s complex algorithms for allocating funds are partial, judgmental, and often confusing,” the report author said.

The minister also overturned civil servant guidance on how to allocate funds to the Towns Fund to fine-tune the minimum size of eligible settlements, the report said. This excluded many rural towns with sparsely populated catchments and favored more densely populated urban areas.

Other measures, including the use of claimant numbers, can also distort the situation of deprivation across the country. This is because few people may receive benefits in rural areas, but they may suffer from the working poor and precarious seasonal work. According to the report, it gives a “wrong positive view” of rural locations.

“Wages are lower in the countryside, but much of the cost of living is higher,” said Graham Biggs, CEO of the Rural Services Network. “Therefore, rural living standards are low, especially for those who cannot afford or cannot commute to the city for work. More if the government uses an objective measure of living standards. Money should be directed to raising the bar in rural communities. “

RNS’s willingness to rethink how poverty is addressed and allocated funds aims to change the government’s approach prior to the launch of the Shared Prosperity Fund. The fund aims to fill the gaps left by EU programs that seek to mitigate inequality across blocks.

The UK needs to rethink its approach to poverty by considering funding local governments based on the standard of living that people can afford in the region.

New findings came after Tory’s backbencher faced another dataset revealing the effects of rural poverty. According to a study by the University of Sheffield, in Wycome, a supporter of Tory lawmaker Steve Baker, 14% were hungry and nearly 30% had difficulty accessing food.

On Tuesday, Baker said on social media that the numbers support his and other Conservative claims.

“On the surface, Wicom is a rich region, but there are some areas of true deprivation,” he said, and the cycle of blockades and restrictions associated with Covid-19 “pushed many to the limit.” I added. He said this was one of the reasons he insisted on lifting the restrictions sooner.

The rise in Universal Credit “ideally should be maintained,” Baker said.

A Treasury spokesperson said he was helping “upgrade all parts of the country.” Rural areas will benefit through better broadband, investment in bus services, and a continuous freeze on fuel taxes, they added.

“We plan to publish a level-up white paper later this year on how the recovery from the pandemic can help improve livelihoods, expand opportunities and boost economic growth,” a spokeswoman said.

Treasury Level Up Rural Areas Excluded from Cash, Report Claims

Source link Treasury Level Up Rural Areas Excluded from Cash, Report Claims

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