Frost admits Britain needs 'benefits of Brexit to start paying off’
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Ministers from the devolved Governments have criticised Boris Johnson for allocating funding which they claim falls far short of pre-Brexit levels. They accused him of failing to live up to his Brexit promises.
The Scottish Government said it would need around £183million in funding from the UK Government to replace that which previously came from the European Union.
Mr Johnson’s Shared Prosperity Fund, under which funds were allocated, will instead see Scotland receive £32million in 2022-2023.
This falls far short of what “is should have been”, according to John Swinney of the SNP.
He wrote in a post on Twitter: “The Tories promised to safeguard this funding – another broken Tory Brexit promise.”
Scottish Business Minister Ivan McKee added: “Since 2016 the Scottish Government has tried to engage constructively with the UK Government to ensure this Fund was delivered in a meaningful way, consistent with the devolution settlement and aligned with our national economic aims and ambitions.
“However, the UK Government has undermined devolution by failing to give the Scottish Government a decision-making role – which ultimately fails to meet the needs of Scotland’s communities.”
Ministers in Wales have gone further, suggesting the region could now be headed towards a new era of austerity.
Welsh Economy Minister Vaughan Gething again said Mr Johnson had failed to live up to his funding promises, demonstrating a failure of the ‘levelling up’ agenda.
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He told the Financial Times: “The Welsh Government has to look at the reduced sum of money and make our budgets balance.
“The Chancellor said there won’t be a return to austerity.
“Actually, if money disappears… you could find yourselves having to make choices that look very similar to the choices I was having to make as a minister when austerity was at its height.”
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Northern Ireland is also reported to face cuts under the scheme.
Criticism of Mr Johnson’s administration has not only been limited to representatives of the devolved nations’s governments.
Labour’s Chris Bryant complained that Wales was being “short-changed” because of the Government’s proposals.
He said in a post on Twitter: “EU funding to British regions including South Wales valleys used to be £1.5billion a year.
“Johnson promised it would be matched but the government’s replacement scheme is worth just £400million this year.
“Yet again we’re being short-changed and the Tories are breaking their promises.”
Funding is set to increase over the years, though the devolved governments insist it will remain below what is needed.
Express.co.uk has approached the UK Government for comment.
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