We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Autumn statement lets Cumbria down

November 23, 2016 4:51 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has commented on today's autumn statement.

"I have a sickening feeling of déjà vu: the Conservative Government is unashamedly neglecting our area all over again.

"The Chancellor's announcement of £556 million to Local Enterprise Partnerships in the North of England sounds like a sizeable sum, but this figure must be spread out across 10 LEPs - some of which are large cities - so we know that Cumbria will see the vast majority of the funding bids to boost growth in our county turned down. Part of the funding that the government has rejected is the money that was meant to go to make Cumbria's roads and bridges flood-resistant.

"This rejection of Cumbria's businesses, farmers, tourism industry and education sector is a slap in the face for our community as we fight back from last year's floods. These projects would have created and protected jobs, boosted the local economy, and given hope to local communities struggling with sluggish broadband.

"Mr Hammond's broadband pledge - whilst welcome - will be wasted money if the Government doesn't force them to spend the money in the most rural places first. If not, those that already have good access will be able to download whole films even more quickly, while many in rural areas like ours still can't load their emails.

"There was also no new money to cover the £572m shortfall faced by our local NHS. Nationally the Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned for more funding the NHS as we are on the edge of another winter crisis and our health service is at breaking point but yet the government has turned a deaf ear to these calls. Sadly now patients will pay the price. There is also nothing for public sector workers, our doctors, teachers and armed forces, who deserve a proper pay rise.

"Finally, I welcome tax breaks for rural businesses, but I'm appalled to see absolutely no support for farmers affected by this year's rural payments debacle. Hundreds of commons land payment claims are outstanding, but Philip Hammond has sided with the Farming Minister in dismissing the very serious problems faced by these farmers."