England gets no say… as we have no voice

21 May

No England voice

The Conservative Liberal Democrats have set out their ‘blueprint’ for a “radical, reforming government”.

There are two issues surrounding British Politics that the ‘blueprint’ simply ignores or attempts to put on the back burner. 1) Fair funding of the devolved nations 2) Devolution for England.

Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have prioritized tackling Britain’s record budget deficit. What they meant by beginning to tackle Britain’s budget is targeting England.

The Barnett Formula that gives Scotland £1,600.00 per head more funding than their English counterparts, will not change (even though both parties promised to address it). The coalition kicked into touch any possibility of changing the Barnett Formula. Instead the government say…

“at this time, the priority must be to reduce the deficit and therefore any change to the system must await the stabilisation of the public finances.”

Changing the formula now would help the deficit.

So England tightens its belt whilst Scotland takes comfort as it continues to get extra funding and making no cuts this year. The people of England continue to get less and cut now.

How long must we wait for the stabilisation of the ‘public finances’ 3, 4, 5 years ? The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are as intent as Labour to ignore England in favour of the devolved nations. It certainly goes against the Conservatives near all England base and the Liberal Democrats general election manifesto, where they called for “a new needs-based funding mechanism to replace the present system”.

Our worries over this Coalition government addressing English concerns on funding and devolution seem justified. Just weeks into the coalition it may already be time to start pressuring the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

Danny Alexander, the Scottish Secretary and the Lib Dems’ chief negotiator in the coalition deal, said “The Prime Minister and deputy prime minister have agreed the overriding priority of this Government is to reduce the deficit. This is as vital to Scotland as it is to the rest of the UK.”
But he concluded: “It is clear this deal will deliver great benefit to Scotland.”

Professor David Bell of Stirling University, who has made a special study of the implications has warned: “If it was put into practice, it would have dramatic effects on the Scottish budget. The size of the block grant from Westminster to Holyrood would shrink substantially. Instead of the Scottish grant being 20 per cent higher per head than in England, the margin would shrink to 5 per cent. At current spending levels, this would mean a cut of around £4.5 billion in Scotland’s annual grant from Westminster.”

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2 Responses to “England gets no say… as we have no voice”

  1. Free England Alliance May 22, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Scotland has a moral obligation to pay towards the deficit by a reduction in the Barnett Formula. It is after all,largely the fault of their banks and politicians that got us into this mess.

  2. fiale May 22, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I agree. I cannot however see our Unionist David Cameron Prime Minister doing anything about it unless he comes under great pressure. He knows he is unpopular in Scotland and instead of just accepting it and doing what is right, is instead trying bribe Scots into accepting him.

    They say they will address the issue when our finances are in order, so we could be looking at the entire Parliamentary term before it is addressed.

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