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Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Is this the most inept political bribe ever?

Whatever sobriquet is finally awarded to Theresa May's Government, the word competent is not likely to be included. Not only has she made a pigs ear of the whole Brexit process, but she has lost control of her own Parliamentary Party and is widely considered to be in power but not able to exercise it.

The latest attempt at effectively buying votes for her Brexit deal sums up her approach. As the Independent reports, she has earmarked £1.6 billion over six years to help deprived towns, many of which will have voted to leave the EU.

Her government says the money would be used to create jobs, train local people and boost investment, but critics say it is an attempt to convince Labour MPs in Leave-voting areas to back May’s withdrawal agreement, and was not enough to offset the impact of Brexit.

Indeed, the Government has not even thought through whether the money would attract a Barnett consequential when they announced it, meaning that leave-voting Wales and stay-voting Scotland still do not know if they will benefit from the money, nor whether their respective Parliaments will have the ability to determine how it is to be distributed.

By my calculation, the fund will be worth about £13 million a year to Wales, if they were to get a Barnett share. That is roughly half the amount that Swansea Council alone had to cut from their budget for next year. I am sure that similar calculations are being made in England.

It will also be the case, that in the Objective One, Two and Three areas, in which many of the targeted towns are situated, the sums available in European aid is likely to dwarf the amounts offered in this bribe.

And as if to add to May's problems, she cannot actually tie the receipt of these funds to how the benefiting MPs vote. An MP could receive a cash boost for her or his town, and then happily walk through the lobby against May's deal.

As a bribe the £1.6 billion is completely ineffective. As aid for poorer areas of the country it is entirely inadequate. Back to the drawing board then, Theresa.
> Whatever sobriquet is finally awarded to Theresa May's Government
or should that be "Soubry-quet"? ;-)
Definately a bribe.If it was ONLY to boost these areas it could have been done months ago.The 'magic money tree' turns up when it is to the Tories interests. Yes it is a drop in the Ocean when contrasted with the austerity cuts. The money that has been invested in the areas in the past was not widely known,IT SHOULD BE WIDELY ADVERTISED. I do indeed fear after Brexit the Govnt will not invest the same amount .

That word soo - bree-kay. A bit posh for me. I did not have it in my school exams!!
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