MP: Spend more to make things fairer - The Evesham Observer

MP: Spend more to make things fairer

Evesham Editorial 12th Nov, 2018   0

EVESHAM’s MP has called for more cash for to be spent on education and health in rural constituencies such as Mid Worcestershire after new figures revealed weekly wages for the county are £39 below the national average.

Speaking after last week’s Budget, Nigel Huddleston said more needed to be done to ensure a fairer distribution of funding across the country for public spending.

Whilst he backed the community spirit and problem-solving instincts of the people of Worcestershire which make the county one of the best places to live in the country, Mr Huddleston argued the perception of rural areas as leafy idylls has allowed funding disparities to go unchallenged for too long.

As well as the defecit in weekly wages, per pupil secondary school funding in his constituency is as much as £3,000 per year lower than in many parts of London. In addition to this, the South Worcestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning

Group gets more than £100 less per patient than average and as much as £500 less per patient than urban areas in the northwest.

Mr Huddleston said fair funding was essential to a fair society and argued areas like Worcestershire – areas in which people actually earn less than average – are due their fair share of education and health funding.

“There is is a clear link between school funding and social mobility and it is a core responsibility of government to create an environment in which children can reach their full potential – and providing a good education for all is key to achieving that.”

The Conservative MP said he believed many of his constituents supported increases in overall spending on schools, even if it meant a small increase in tax.

“Worcestershire and other rural areas simply do not get their fair share of public funding and this means less to spend on resources in schools and less to spend on medicines and treatments,” he said.

“I will continue to bang this drum until public funding arrangements are equitable. We have seen good progress with a fairer school funding formula and £29.6million of targeted funding for Worcestershire’s acute hospitals.

“This should only be the beginning of a longer and more substantive process towards bridging the rural-urban funding divide and ensuring that everyone in the country, no matter where they are born, has access to the same standard of services and the same opportunities.”

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