Margaret Ferrier – 2023 Parliamentary Question on Regional Inequality

The parliamentary question asked by Margaret Ferrier, the Independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, in the House of Commons on 9 January 2023.

Margaret Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) (Ind)

What recent assessment he has made of the impact of his Department’s policies on regional inequality.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (Dehenna Davison)

In this challenging economic context, levelling up to tackle regional inequality is more important than ever. While this requires a whole-Government effort, my Department continues to push ahead through investment in local places, for example through the UK shared prosperity fund, from which I understand the Glasgow city region has been allocated more than £73 million for interventions that will build pride in place and improve life chances for people living in the region.

Margaret Ferrier

Happy new year, Mr Speaker. As successful bids for the levelling-up fund are finalised—I hope to see Shawfield in my constituency receive some money—how does the Minister expect this round of funding to support wage growth across the UK in the light of the cost of living crisis?

Dehenna Davison

I appreciated the hon. Member’s pitch, which I am sure we will take on board alongside those made by colleagues across the House. The levelling-up fund is there to support local capital projects, of which there is such a wide range. Many of those will help improve wage growth, improve life chances and improve the skills of young people so that they can get on in life, because that is what the Conservative Government are all about.

Jonathan Gullis (Stoke-on-Trent North) (Con)

With £56 million from the levelling-up fund, a £17.6 million Kidsgrove town deal, masses of funding from the shared prosperity fund and, of course, a Conservative-led council building 1,000 homes a year, on average, and reopening things such as Tunstall town hall, which Labour left shut for 30 years, does the Minister agree that those who want to see regional inequality broken should vote Conservative in May’s local elections?

Dehenna Davison

I could not have said it better myself.