Commenting on the West Yorkshire devolution deal announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in today’s Budget, Hilary Benn (MP for Leeds Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) said:
“Everyone knows that the Chancellor’s unfairly-distributed cuts have hit the most deprived communities hardest, including in Leeds, and this devolution deal for West Yorkshire falls way short of what Labour has been calling for.
He’s giving Cambridgeshire the right to keep more of its own business rate income, but not West Yorkshire. How on earth can he justify this unfair treatment?
It’s no wonder our Council leaders have said the deal is disappointing. It simply doesn’t match Labour’s plans to devolve power and funding to Leeds and West Yorkshire, but for that we need a change of Government.
What today’s Budget can’t hide is that working people are worse off after 5 years of this Government, and another 5 years would see extreme spending cuts that will hit public services hard and put our NHS at risk.”