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Regional Inequality

Volume 725: debated on Monday 9 January 2023

In this challenging economic context, levelling up to tackle regional inequality is more important than ever. While this requires a whole-Government effort, my Department continues to push ahead through investment in local places, for example through the UK shared prosperity fund, from which I understand the Glasgow city region has been allocated more than £73 million for interventions that will build pride in place and improve life chances for people living in the region.

Happy new year, Mr Speaker. As successful bids for the levelling-up fund are finalised—I hope to see Shawfield in my constituency receive some money—how does the Minister expect this round of funding to support wage growth across the UK in the light of the cost of living crisis?

I appreciated the hon. Member’s pitch, which I am sure we will take on board alongside those made by colleagues across the House. The levelling-up fund is there to support local capital projects, of which there is such a wide range. Many of those will help improve wage growth, improve life chances and improve the skills of young people so that they can get on in life, because that is what the Conservative Government are all about.

With £56 million from the levelling-up fund, a £17.6 million Kidsgrove town deal, masses of funding from the shared prosperity fund and, of course, a Conservative-led council building 1,000 homes a year, on average, and reopening things such as Tunstall town hall, which Labour left shut for 30 years, does the Minister agree that those who want to see regional inequality broken should vote Conservative in May’s local elections?