Sadiq Khan says spending review ‘doesn’t help London in any meaningful way’’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the review with measures aimed at protecting jobs and kick starting the economy.

However, the Mayor of London said the capital’s cash strapped councils were not receiving enough financial help to deal with the fall out from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Mayor said: “Through no fault of their own, Covid has left councils in London, who are on the front line in this pandemic, facing a net funding shortfall of £1.1 billion this year – the Government need to stay true to their word and provide the funding councils need urgently to keep delivering the vital local services we all rely upon.

“To get our economy going again over the coming weeks it will also be crucial that the Government now work with businesses and boroughs to rapidly roll out mass testing and vaccination programmes within the working-age population.

“If the Government continues with its approach of starving the capital of investment it will do nothing more than hamper our recovery from Covid – both in London and across the UK. It is vital that London is now able to get its fair share of funding both from the Shared Prosperity Fund and the new Levelling Up Fund announced today.

“This Government should learn from mistakes of the last decade – austerity and choking off growth to pay down debt doesn’t work and damages lives.”

His comments came as Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham welcomed the Government’s commitment to a devolved transport settlement and the announcement of an infrastructure bank in the north but criticised the Levelling Up Fund.

Speaking at an online press conference, Mr Burnham said: “Funding to invest in infrastructure is good but I think people need to look behind the headlines and slogans here because we don’t believe this will be doing much levelling up any time soon.”

He said Greater Manchester’s share of the fund would be £30 million next year, which would not be enough to “get the real work under way to level up the country”.

He added: “I don’t believe you could say that amounts to a substantial plan to level up the country.”


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