The current funding arrangements are discredited and wholly inadequate. Central government funds many regional and local activities from a central “pot”.
As a result of mismanagement of this “central pot” by successive Conservative, Coalition, and Labour Governments - Yorkshire’s former industrial areas have continued to struggle with decline over the past 40 or so years. This decline is self-evident, for example, when visiting parts of Bradford, Brightside in Sheffield, or Dewsbury in the old Heavy Woollen District.
There has not only been a downturn in the job market, but Yorkshire's infrastructure is outdated, totally inadequate and allowed to become shabby. It is no wonder that people no longer trust politicians or politics generally, or that bussiness decline to move here.
The Treasury’s past investment methodologies, combined with the capital’s huge lobbying capabilities, has meant that much public investment funding has been skewed towards London. The same is also true of the funding of running costs. (Capital spending per person in London in 2019-20 was £1485; in Yorkshire, £791. Current spending per person in London in 2019-20 was £9350; in Yorkshire £8610. (Source: Commons Library Research Briefing Public Spending by Country and Region Dec. 2020)
Thus, public funding allocations in England have resulted in considerable regional inequality. The Barnett Formula for the devolved administrations takes the aggregate position of England when arriving at funding decisions. This means that the devolved administrations have an advantage over the poorer regions of England. (Capital spending per person in Scotland in 2019-20 was £1,408; Current spending per person in Scotland in 2019-20 was £10,158. These figures should be compared with those for Yorkshire above.
Add to this, what started as rate capping in the 1980’s, and the ongoing ever increasing stricter ring-fencing rules, have tied local governments’ hands, with no room for innovation or local priorities.
We are proposing that Yorkshire be allowed raise its own local revenue once more as we were allowed prior to Thatcher.
The ability to raise our own income to pay for local services, independent of Whitehall dictate, would enable voters to make a genuine choice between local candidates and put the shaping of Yorkshires future, where it belongs, in the hands of Yorkshire men and women.