Khan calls for London to get bigger slice of Levelling Up cash from government
Sadiq Khan has called on Rishi Sunak to give London more cash from the government’s signature Levelling Up fund to tackle “the capital’s own substantial inequalities”.
The London mayor said the capital was missing out on hundreds of millions of pounds of government money post-Brexit.
New figures from City Hall show London has received £76 per person from a series of Levelling Up initiatives worth billions of pounds, which is well below the England average of £384 per person.
London firms are now eligible to apply for up to £30m as a part of the £2.6bn UK Shared Prosperity Fund, however only £144m is allocated for the capital.
This is less than half of what London would have got under the equivalent EU scheme pre-Brexit.
Khan said London was “the driver of the UK economy” but that the “funding allocated to the capital does not reflect the high levels of unemployment and child poverty”.
“I am determined that London plays its part in helping to level up parts of the country that have been left behind for too long,” he said.
“But if the government really wants to level up, it needs to recognise that London has some of the most deprived communities in the country and also needs robust support and investment to deliver a more equal society.”
The Levelling Up initiative was first introduced by Boris Johnson during the 2019 election and became a key part of his domestic policy platform.
Sunak has promised to continue the policy, without releasing any more substantial funding, which aims to increase wealth and job opportunities in the North and the Midlands.
It has been criticised by London MPs and businesses for ignoring the vast economic disparities in the capital.
Dehenna Davison, a junior minister in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “We are taking full advantage of being outside the European Union and unlocking billions of pounds of investment to help level up communities and spread opportunity across the UK.
“The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will have tangible benefits for people up and down the country, from a young entrepreneur in need of a helping hand or those who want to gain the skills they need to secure a decent, well-paid job.”