Boris Johnson’s ‘Completely Inadequate’ Upgrade Plan: ‘Cannot Be Serious’ | United Kingdom | New
Andrew Neil shakes up Boris Johnson’s ‘leveling’ promises
According to a new poll, only 14% of Britons really understand what it means to ‘take it to the next level’. A staggering 31% of those polled in the survey, conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for PoliticsHome, had no understanding of what this means. Boris Johnson called the upgrade the “biggest project a government can embark on” in his closing speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. He promised to provide opportunities to areas that felt left behind, while reducing pressure on parts of the Southeast.
The Prime Minister also confirmed a new ‘leveling bonus’ worth up to £ 3,000 to send ‘the best’ science and math teachers to the fields ‘most in need’.
However, many have pointed out that the £ 60million scheme is just the repackaging of an identical policy launched in 2019 that was scrapped last year.
Michael Gove was appointed Secretary of State for Upgrades, Housing and Communities last month.
He set four goals for taking it to the next level at the Conservative Party conference: “We want to strengthen local leadership to drive real change.
“We will increase the standard of living especially where it is lower.
READ MORE: The REAL reason for the truck driver shortage and why Rishi is to blame
Boris Johnson‘s upgrade plans have been called “totally inadequate”
Only 14% of Brits know what leveling up really means, according to a new poll.
“We will improve public services, especially where they are weaker.
“And we will give people the resources to increase the pride they feel in the place where they live.”
Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and public policy at King’s College London, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the government’s plans.
He explained that, in the context of inequalities, to speak of a north-south divide is “very unnecessary”.
London has the highest child poverty rate in the UK, he explained, and inequality is true in parts of the UK as well as between the north and south.
Michael Gove was tasked with leveling the country.
Asked about the right approach to take it to the next level, he said: “If what interests you is people’s life chances and their opportunities, then you have to do something about inequality and poverty, and we have a government that chooses to take £ 1,000 a year. far from practically all of the poor families in the country.
He added: “You can’t be serious about improving in terms of giving people all over the country the opportunity to be successful and then slashing the income of the poorest families by £ 1,000 a year. . “
Professor Portes asked how Mr Johnson’s government can really be taken seriously when it cuts universal credit by £ 6bn.
He said, “It’s not leveling up, it’s the opposite of leveling up, it’s taking money from people who can’t afford it and giving it to those who can. “
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the German government spent £ 1.7 trillion in rehabilitation funds to level the former East Germany.
DO NOT MISS :
Tony Blair remains convinced UK should have joined the euro [QUOTES]
Murder of Sir David Amess: MEPs called for ‘rethinking security’ 20 years ago [REVEALED]
Tyson Fury’s brilliant response to stubborn remains laid bare [INSIGHT]
Mr Johnson’s government is slashing universal credit by £ 6 billion.
Without wishing to speculate on how much money it might cost to level up in the UK, Professor Portes admitted that the current £ 4.8bn leveling fund announced as part of the expenditure review 2020, would be far from sufficient.
He said: “I think it’s very difficult to put a figure on this. I think it’s certainly fair to say that the percentages of money the government has allocated so far are likely to be completely insufficient.
“I’m not sure throwing really huge numbers is really helpful.”
He called on the government to reverse the reduction in universal credit and to rethink the education recovery plan.
Sir Kevan Collins resigned his post as Education Recovery Commissioner in June after the government announced a £ 1.4bn package.
Conservative MPs have called for urgent improvements to public transport in the north.
He had suggested that £ 15 billion was needed to make up for lost learning, and had received less than a tenth.
Conservative Red Wall MPs, meanwhile, called for prioritizing disparities in “connectivity” to help people access jobs.
Research by think tank Onward found that people in parts of the Midlands and West Yorkshire can only achieve half the number of jobs by public transport as those in the South.
It emerged earlier this month in The Independent that the government will be proposing a “severely scaled-down” version of the Northern Powerhouse Rail program, and that plans for a high-speed rail link through the East Midlands would be put on hold.
Sources told the newspaper that almost every major city in the North and Midlands will be disappointed.
The Prime Minister, in his closing speech at the Conservative Party conference, promised: “We will do Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The Integrated Rail Plan, which will rule on a number of things including Whether a new major £ 500million rail hub at Bradford will be set up is expected to be released shortly.
Professor Portes stressed the importance of some control over local authorities if meaningful leveling is to be achieved.
He said: “A meaningful upgrade requires a sustained investment over a period of several years, not only in transport, but in skills and education.
“It requires the central government to be prepared to give some degree of local control so that localities, whether regions or cities, can develop their own strategies.”