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Tories hand millions to wealthiest councils – but there’s only cuts for Hull

Hull North MP Diana Johnson has accused the Government of a stitch-up after the Chancellor handed £300m to the wealthiest councils to ease spending cuts – but nothing to Hull.
 
Hull has suffered some of the highest spending cuts since 2010, but received nothing at all in today’s announcement.  Meanwhile, leafy Surrey – one of England’s wealthiest shires – today gets a hand-out of £24m despite suffering far fewer cuts in recent years.
 
Tory MPs became alarmed when they realised their areas might soon see cuts similar to those imposed on the rest of the country. 
 
They threatened to vote down the Government’s planned cuts until Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced a £300m ‘transitional grant’.  The Government have refused to say where the extra money comes from. 
 
Labour analysis shows that £255m of the grant – 85% – goes to Tory councils. Areas where Labour runs the council receive just £17m, despite suffering the harshest cuts since 2010 and having higher levels of deprivation.   
 
Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: “Hull hasn’t had a fair deal on local government funding under the Tories and Lib Dems since 2010 - and today’s figures show that more cuts are coming. These cuts will be on such a scale that no options available to Hull City Council will avoid more damage to local services. 
 
“Unlike Surrey and other wealthy areas, Hull isn’t getting a penny of help to lessen the impact of these cuts – despite being one of the most deprived areas in the country, with rising needs in areas like social care.” 
 
Steve Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said: “The Government is covering up where this money has come from and won’t explain why almost all of it is being handed to Tory councils just weeks before council elections across the country. 
 
“Councils that have already been cut to the bone since 2010 are getting nothing but more cuts. The Tories have picked millions of pounds from taxpayer’s pockets to buy off their own MPs when faced with a rebellion in the House of Commons.   
 
“This is a blatant misuse of public money in a shameless attempt to buy votes and buy off Tory MPs.”
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