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Shared Prosperity Fund

Volume 651: debated on Monday 10 December 2018

Leaving the European Union offers great opportunity to the country, including coming up with a shared prosperity fund that aligns our national priorities. Good progress is being made, and we intend to consult on the design of the UK shared prosperity fund shortly.

I am sure the whole House will agree that Cornwall is unique in many ways—we have our own heritage and culture, including our own language—but we also face a number of unique economic challenges, particularly from our geography as a peninsula and after decades of under-investment. Will the Minister confirm that the shared prosperity fund will continue to support the Cornish economy, so that we can all continue to say, “Kernow bys vyken!”?

If I may respond in Cornish, I take the opportunity to wish my hon. Friend and all his constituents Nadelik lowen. With only 109 shopping days to Brexit, I can reassure my hon. Friend that the UK shared prosperity fund will be simplified and targeted, and will tackle the challenges of our whole country, including those facing Cornwall.

This weekend, the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, resigned from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. He says he no longer sees the benefit, given that it was set up by a Government who just do not want to listen to it. At the same time, the Institute for Public Policy Research North paints a stark picture, where the north gets £2,500 less per head in investment on transport than London. The northern powerhouse Minister literally has one job to do. What’s going on?

As Harry Enfield and his chums would say about anyone from Liverpool, including me: “Calm down, calm down.” I can confirm today that we have announced £38.4 million for Liverpool. I completely refute the IPPR figures. They exclude 60% of spending across regional boundaries. They do not apportion spending where the benefit is felt. If the hon. Gentleman wants to give some advice to his chums in the left-wing IPPR think-tank, he might say that next time they produce such figures they should print them on softer paper.