« Alan Duncan: Britain is "uniquely equipped" to take advantage of clean coal | Main | Why is the BBC funding pro-Obama polls? »


I hope this story is incorrect. Sooner or later Barnett will have to be reformed, not for electoral tactical reasons but because it's the right thing to do.
Of the four reasons given above it is my opinion only three that is critical.
Let's see exactly what is proposed before losing our tempers, it would be good if a thread on this subject would see sensible debate rather than some of the vitriolic abuse we've seen in the past.

"Alex Salmond believes that reform of Barnett would be a massive gift to his hopes for independence."

If Scotland was independent it wouldn't be getting any money from us so can't really see why.

The general gist of the reasons above is that the Tories essentially wish to bribe NI, Wales and Scotland into voting for them. There is, however, a massive elephant in the room - England. England which has more votes and more seats. Maintaining the current formula is hardly going to be conducive to winning more English votes.

Sounds like 'neutralising' the issue as theyve done with schools and health. Its a strange set up though when the Tories with a heavy lead in the polls should manage their policies to suit other political parties with which the Tories wish to curry favour ie the UU.

I can understand them saying that reform will take a long time, but the Tories should have a defined route they wish to go and the public should be very aware of it. The issue is one which might be worth a few votes in the border constituencies. Hopefully they can avoid causing confusion with this, though I doubt they will be able to.

The only way English people will get a half decent response to the gross inequalities from devolution is to threaten these useless British politicians career prospects.

So what if reform upsets the Scots, Welsh and Irish. When voting in the House of Commons takes place on issues only applicable in England, non English MP's should keep quiet during debate and should not vote.
If they are incapable of doing this willingly then laws should be enacted preventing them from doing so.
If the Tories go soft on this they will have failed. Blair brought in many of his unfair anti English laws with the help of the Scots and it has been dispicable that Cameron hasn't promised to reverse them, i.e, university tuition fees.

Of course the Barnett Formula should be revised - and drastically at that. The figures supplied by the Taxpayer’s Alliance demonstrate what we have known for a long time now, that the present financial arrangement is grossly unfair to England.
Grants from Central Government to local authorities are already weighted according to a variety of factors and could give greater emphasis to the density of population, for example. The present system leads to an obscene disparity between health care provision in Scotland & Wales as compared to England. The Health Service will continue to be a key area for debate and we cannot justify the continuation of the present bias against sick and elderly people who happen to be living in England. One could easily make special arrangements for Northern Ireland because of the disastrous years of IRA activity.

What this shows is Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland able to mount special pleading for more cash against a British governing class.

The response of the British governing class is to short change England to bribe the Celts. They are able to do this as nobody speaks for England, there is no English Conservatives Party ( equivalent to the Scots, Welsh and NI parties - though the latter looks like being sold out soon ).

There is no English parliament, and no English politics. As a result the people of England are always the ones to pay and get the worse deal.

People were mean about Ridley Grove's article on platform on Monday but he is being proven correct. The large opinion poll leads are suffocating boldness in policy. All ranting on this thread won't change that.

We are no longer the defeated people we once were. We are now angry and we want to see fairness and a government that is efficient, that delivers, that understands, that listens and a government whose ministers actually visit and listen to their constituents - not just the grudgies and whingers either.
We want you to get out of our faces and to provide the decent, respectable services that we took for granted under Ken Clarke and John Major.

This was his piece for those who missed it:


Despite the massive polls leads, I feel that there is a chance of Tory complacency taking a bit of a knock in places, in due course.

Whilst no smaller party is likely to do any toppling, the aggregate of small and/or furry and/or vicious candidates attracting protest votes in some areas could knock your majority.

Do remember that the mood it isn't an assured newfound love for conservatives; it's more of an anything-but-labour sentiment. You still have to woo the electorate and you won't do that by remaining huddled in your comfort zone.

Man in a shed, I fully agree, there is no one in the British political establishment who will speak up for England or English people. We have no political representation and no institutional representation, and this failure means that English people get a raw deal from the British establishment at every turn.

As we see from this the British Conservative party is worried about the UU, they are worried about the Scots, and they are worried about the Welsh, but they couldn't give two flying figs for England or English people. The difference, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have political parties and institutions to speak up for their interests, England doesn't!

If we fail to grasp this thistle we fail to grasp the mood of England.

This is not just about unjust subsidy repaid with iniquitous welfare, healthcare and educational provision it is about the identity of a nation which remains the only nation in Europe without a parliament despite being the birthplace of parliamentary democracy.

And please don’t dismiss this sense of nation as ethnic exclusivity and latent racism. It is not.

It is a sense of civic identity and a feeling of belonging. Not only the fundamental and inalienable right of any citizen but also the bedrock of identity from which comes mutual respect and almost all of the now broken components of good citizenship. Even to acknowledge, never mind to celebrate the nation of England, would form the basis from which to re-build our broken society.

Which is supposed to be a core Conservative objective.

Re-build our sense of who we are. And watch what happens.

It looks like after 12 years of England being stabbed in the back by New Labour the conservatives will carry on where NL left off.English taxpayers were not put on this earth to pay for tory chicanery. Can some one explain just how England wil benefit from a tory uup alliance?

All voters residing in England need to read this report - http://tpa.typepad.com/home/files/unequal_shares_the_barnett_formula.pdf

We have been taken for granted for far too long and must speak out in defence of the weakest in our nation - England's babies, cancer patients and the elderly and many more.

What kind of people have we become to allow our own citizens to be sacrificed on the altar of Unionism, so that we don't "offend" the scots by insisting we are all treated equally in the UK?

Only a sick and twisted form of government would implement this policy and deny equal rights to life for all of us in England. And only a sick and twisted opposition party would want to carry on in the same manner.

What price YOUR vote?

Might be much more factual and useful to do the sums across the whole of the UK and see which counties and parts of the UK get what amounts of money. You will find that parts of England get wide variations as well so its not just about Scotland and Wales etc.

I'll be delighted if we keep the Barnett formula.

I'm much more interested in keeping the Union strong than having a few more pounds in my pocket.

The fact is, Matt Wright, that the Barnett Formula is allocated according to NATION, not REGION. You have to grasp that fact to be able to understand what the Barnett Formula is and why it is unsuitable for the 21st century and especially since devolution.
It was devised as a short term measure to please the Scots and written, as the author says, "Almost on the back of an envelope." It never made sense and wasn't intended to.

It'd be bad to just end it instantly, however wrong it is.
So get into power and then gently slip it in to reduce it then till it's all fair.

Don't give England a thought,worry about the Scots,the Welsh and the Irish,
I thought there was a chance to get a voice for England if the Conservatives got a backbone ,it seems not.
You are dependent on the English vote......and you aint in yet!

I WILL be voting Tory in the next GE, despite Cameron's hatred of the English (I refer to his Glasgow speech). The reason I shall be voting for him? Because a recent poll found that the Scots are more likely to vote for independence with the Tories in Westminster.
Cameron know this. If the Tories were really so worried about the Union and less about their own career prospects, they'd do the decent thing and stand down in order to preserve it. But of course they want power more than anything else. Therefore, crocodile tears about the preservation of the Union won't wash here.
Cameron doesn't want to be PM of England. He needn't worry. He never will be. Let's just see who abandons their captain when the ship threatens to go down with him.

So electoral cowardice is going to leave England held to ransom by the Celtic nations like never before.

My advice to David Cameron is think very carefully, think very carefully indeed.

The only valid reservation out of the four given above is that of the party's progress in Wales, the others should not impact on our thinking.

Because of an improved security situation in Ulster, I certainly have no intention of treating Ulster unionists as a special case. As a Conservative government we should be engaging with all the people of Northern Ireland equally. The UUP have been decimated at the ballot box because of their appeasement of Sinn Fein/IRA, the DUP's hardline approach has brought the Republican's in line and they as a party have reaped the rewards. That said, after the DUP's shameful performance in propping up Brown on the 90 days debate, I certainly don't wish to do them any favours either.

It would be a disgrace if Cameron was to ignore the inequity of treatment towards the majority of those who live in these islands.

To go into another parliament with this issue unresolved could cause a Cameron government severe difficulties overtime - a vocal and active English self-determination lobby within the Conservative Party itself would be the result.

Be warned.

Felicity Mountjoy

"I'm much more interested in keeping the Union strong than having a few more pounds in my pocket."

Does that mean that you see intrinsic worth in an allegiance to the Union that, seemingly to those who defend the Barnett Formula, can only be purchased rather than proffered freely?

Hi Felicity Mountjoy

Yep. If it ain’t broke then don’t fixit. Except. It is broken and at will take more than Jimmy Saville or contemptuous complacency to fix it.

Meanwhile, extra squids in pockets is what we are about, is it not?

Or is it Scotgeld as Sir John Major stated?

>active English self-determination lobby within the Conservative Party itself would be the result>

Hi David -we\'re already up and running :)

Helen I do know about the principle of the Barnett formula, I was merely pointing out that there are wide discrepancies in how all parts of the UK are funded. Indeed on some levels many people have argued for such differences eg rurality, the problems of dealing with funding in large rural areas such as providing schools etc. Even if the Barnett formula was reformed those differences will almost certainly continue in all parts of the UK. Any formula is likely to be complex and any solution would be open to manipulation by those obsessed with trying to find some divisive game to play. As long as the solution is transparent and fair in its explanation of the differing funds to all parts of the UK it would be reasonable.

Felicity Mountjoy, if you want the Union to remain strong then the best way to do that is to base it on timeless principles, like equality. To base the Union's unity on bribing the Scots with Celtgeld suggests the Union's principles don't amount to much, and is such a shoddy construct you have to bribe people to remain part of it.

But worst of all is the idea that to give equality to all is now considered a threat to the Union, with the Union only able exist if the majority are made constitutionally second class citizens. When a state puts its existence before the rights and equality of its citizens, then really it has lost any moral right to exist.

Matt Wright (no relation)- Then you'll know that there is no English body to determine how England's meagre funding is allocated?
Our governance is dependent upon who is PM of the UK at any given time, whether he/ she be a Scottish elected MP or not. And as Cameron is proving, the PM's main concerns are not with fairness to England, but with keeping the neighbours happy.
Only and English Parliament can deliver for England and more cheaply, too, given that we currenly pay for Welsh, Scottish and NI politicians to govern us - even without that necessary invitation.

Vote Conservative at the next GE and watch the Union (ha ha) disintegrate, I can hardly wait.
The Tories have virtually no vote in Scotland, Wales and certainly not in Northern Ireland, so what do they do, they piss off the English, their saviours.
Cameron has already labelled as "Little Englanders (sour) (bigoted) (uneducated)" those that crave equality with the likes of the Scots university student, the Scots elderly, the Scots NHS patient (prescritions and parking charges), Being a half hard Scot himself I wouldn't be surprised if he is a signatory to the Scottish Claim of Right.
For those who point out the difference in spending within the areas of England, every English student pays top-up fees, every patient/visitor to English hospitals pay parking charges, Every English NHS patient pays prescription charges (OAPs, children and benefits recipients exempted), all these charges have been forced upon the English electorate by Scottish, Welsh and N. Irish elected MPs.
The sooner they get back to representing the people that elected them and leave the English to sink or swim under their own steam, the better.

A disingenuous and shallow report from the TPA. It could also highlight that per capita expenditure is HIGHER IN LONDON THAN IN ANY OTHER PART OF ENGLAND AND WALES.

PESCA 2007 reported the following on total identifiable expenditure on services by country and region per head in real terms 2006–07

North East £7,980
North West £7,610
Yorkshire and Humberside £7,014
East Midlands £6,334
West Midlands £6,894
Eastern £5,995
LONDON £8,200
South East £6,151
South West £6,516

England £6,949
Scotland £8,414
Wales £7,943
Northern Ireland £9,158

Better would be to look at the facts and decide how much different parts of the UK should get and why. If there is a new formula to do this fine but almost certainly different parts of the UK will get different amounts.

Clearly, Bill does not read the previous postings where this issue is discussed and so proceeds to post what he thinks is relevant, but is in fact totally irrevelant with regard to the Barnett Formula. Once again - it is divided according to NATION, not city. And allocation of ENGLAND'S share is divided according to the current Scottish PM with the assistance of the Scottish Chancellor.
It just shows how some people are so easily sucked in by Spin Meisters, Bill. You do our elderly, sick and dying no service whatsoever.

Ahh those terrible Cockneys and Geordies...etc...etc

With regard to hospital parking fees, my understanding is that local hospitals/trusts have discretion as to whether to charges fees or not. What the Welsh Assembly Government and now the Scottish Government have done is remove that discretion.

Well let's just hope that the votes he buys in the Celtic whinge make up for the votes he loses in England, including mine.

For his own reasons, Alex Salmond has been driving the idea of Scottish independence, albeit to come about at a time of his own choosing. He is relying on his minority administration`s ability to provoke the English into making the break so that if his plans fall apart, he will have someone else to blame. He also needs us to act so as to convince the large numbers of the unconvinced in Scotland that division is inevitable because of our hostility to all things Scottish. All perfectly understandable in a political context. So perhaps we ought to look again at the benefits, if any, of the Union continuing, going on for reasons other than those of pure sentiment.
If the break comes about though, it is possible that with significant numbers of each nation living within each other`s boundaries that there could at some time in the future, be difficulties based on perceived discrimination. We have a perfect example now in Ireland. Before we go down the separatist route therefore, we ought perhaps to look at the dangers of doing so, balancing them against the difficulties of continuing cohabitation.
The current argument seems to be based on political power and the wish of partisan politicians in all countries of the Union to grasp it for their own uses. Were this to come about, would it be in all our interests? I don`t know enough to give a proper answer but one thing seems certain. If a break is to be made, we had all better be sure that the effects will be beneficial because if they are not, it will be well nigh impossible to put the Union back together again.
My own feeling is that united, we have a greater potential for success than we would have if we became divided. The Scots have made a great contribution to our common good (as indeed have the Welsh and Irish) in all sectors of our lives. We would be wrong and ungenerous not to acknowledge this fact. It seems unworthy of all those now in the political frame to discount this for their own selfish reasons. It would be more worthwhile, perhaps, rather than to waste time pursuing separatist plans, to seek instead ways of cooperation that would strengthen the Union still further. Perhaps an agreed answer to the West Lothian question might put the argument to bed for the foreseeable future.

It's an obvious no brainer,firstly,declare that we will remove the Barnett Formula,then,enjoy the massive support of those in 51m people in the English Constituencies,and follow that up with a massive landslide win in the General Election.
If our Leadership don't have the stomach for something like this,we will struggle when another of the parties announce that they are going to scrap the Barnett Formula.

Wise words John. More so given that I very much doubt people in the UK want an end to the Union. They want some powers for their communities so they can get things done but they generally recognise that cooperation is needed on this island we inhabit. If the Union didn't exist there would be lots of people saying "wouldn't it be a good idea if we worked together on the big issues". The tension stems from powerlessness in communities as power is centralised in Brussels and Westminster. The botched devolution settlement from Labour didn't actually devolve power, it was a political calculation aimed to try and advantage Labour politically while aiming to try and take the wind out of nationalists. It failed on both accounts. What ordinary people want is the power to effect their own communities, what they actually got was some deck chair moving with shifts of power to still distant cities.

On the question of funding there are complex formulas criss-crossing the whole of the UK and they influence the levels of funding to all councils. By all means someone come up with a better formula ( thats more transparent and fairer) but as has been said many times, there were still be different sums in different parts of the UK.

It really is time that Dave woke up and smelled the coffee in relation to Scotland. It is very beautiful in places but is a left-leaning political culture in which the centre-right will foreever play third fiddle. Its Tories are largely old-fashioned Butskellite patricians (like Dave) with little political traction, especially as Salmond has stolen most of their votes. Exporting yet more cash north of the Tweed will achieve nothing in terms of building up Tory support. The left will pocket the cash and continue to blame Edward I and Mrs Thatcher for all Scotland's ills.

"My own feeling is that united, we have a greater potential for success than we would have if we became divided."

What facts makes you come to that conclusion? What is the British state doing well that makes its continuation worthwhile?

Managing our borders ? No

Defending our culture? No in fact the British establishment are in the vanguard in trying to unpick our culture with multiculturalism.

Ensuring our children have a future? No, not with its mass immigration policy.

Defending the sovereignty of our Parliament? No, its doing everything it can to sell us out to the EU, so disenfranchising the electorate.

Protecting our scientific, industrial and manufacturing base? No, they want to flogg everything off.

What is the purpose of the British state?

Everyone in England should vote Tory. It's the least we can do to show the Scots how much we love them -


The independence referendum planned for 2010 is "there to be won" the SNP claimed yesterday, after a poll showed a majority of Scots would vote in favour if they came under a Conservative government at Westminster.

It is the first time Alex Salmond's strategy of using a Tory victory to fuel support for independence in a referendum has been tested in this way. Asked in general how they would vote in a referendum on Scottish independence, 34% said they would vote in favour with 50% against.

But asked if the referendum took place against the backdrop of a Conservative government in power at Westminster, 50% said they would vote in favour with 41% against.

The Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly, all appear to exist in all their expensive finery at taxpayers huge expense, and you want an English only Parliament AS WELL ? !
Let's not all of us be fooled all of the time !
Jobs for the Boys - that's all they are. None of these regions are faring any better as a result of these self-engrandising talking shops, than if they had never existed. In fact they are a thorn in the side of this country.
A fact kept deliberately well clear of media reporting, these Parliaments are part of the EU's determined attempt to carve the UNITED Kingdom up into smaller regions, the better way by far to finally conquer us all.
It would be in the National Interest to disband the lot of them and get back to the Default position which is our Right and give our National Parliament the self respected position by which it can call itself - The UK Government.!

"and you want an English only Parliament AS WELL ? ! "

We have the building, we have the MP's elected (although pretty useless), we have the offices of state. What we need is an English executive to give direction and to fight for English peoples interests.

So the cost to set up an English parliament is minimal.

Does Ian Miller really think that the Scots and Welsh will go back to being governed by the UK Parliament? Ostrich mentalities serve no purpose to anyone but the ostrich.

Time to drag yourself into the 21st century and stop harking back to times gone past, which will never come around again.

Does he realise that the Conservatives support a Welsh Parliament and more powers for the Scottish Parliament?

This report is worse than useless. It does not take into account the levels of tax raised from the regions, their needs, nor does it discuss the similar regional differences within England. London, for example, gets an average of £9748 per head. If you take into account oil, other energy and alcohol revenues, the picture looks very different. This taxation all goes straight into UK government coffers.

I've heard Tories moaning that shire counties don't get enough despite the massively high per capita spending - "country people need it" - but of course, when it comes to Scotland and Wales, all of a sudden it's different.

New Labour's devolution policy has been disastrous for England. It has placed England at considerable democratic, social and economic disadvantage.

Although devolution affected the entire United Kingdom, either directly or indirectly, we English were not consulted, nor were we asked for our consent.

As the Scottish Executive, since called a Parliament, now being called a Scottish Government is now even more semi-detached from the Union, (without the responsibilities), the English are now asking themselves, "What is the point of this Union, what benefits do we receive"?

I suspect that David Cameron will preside over the final death throes of a union that has gone beyond its shelf life. Certainly as he has amply demonstrated that he does not have either the political will, or the courage to find a solution that is acceptable to the English.

A future Tory government is only going to give the English more of the same dismissive, cavalier treatment they have received from this current government.

Because we English want equality within the Union does not make us 'Sour Little Englanders'. Mr Cameron take note, our patience is running out.

k jones, if the Scottish Government can remove parking fees at scottish hospitals,why can't the Scottish Government at Westminster do the same for England?.
Everything is being privatised in England but it is not corresponding in reduced taxes. It is supposed to be assymetric devolution remember. Tuition Fees, hospital parking, proposed top ups for life saving drugs, road pricing? why is the English taxpayer paying so much?

"it seems that the Conservative Party is unlikely to make more than modest reforms to the formula--for these political reasons :

1."The party now enjoys a large opinion poll lead. Polls had suggested that reform of the Barnett formula could have an electric effect on voters"

you bet they would - in England where it counts!

2."Reform could jeopadise talks with the UU's"
sob! - Ulster has been so subsidised it doesn't know its born - all at English expense.

3. "Reform could be a gift to the SNP"

So what . Anyway, the SNP have long been demanding fiscal independence and this implies the end of Barnett. Call their bluff and do just do it.

4."Reform could hurt the Conservatives' Welsh revival"
Thats the problem with the Barnett Rules - when they end the celts will complain. The British political class should have thought of this in 1976 and every year since.

The Conservatives are now stuck with their moronic refusal to address the constitutional situation in the UK and its ramifications including Barnett. How this has arisen is only partly their fault but the courage to deal with it, as with many other problems, is now required. In practical terms, doing so and preserving that poll lead presents difficulties though not in England where the core Conservative vote lies.

The Barnett Rules are simply unsustainable and have only been sustained thus far by virtue of a conspiracy of silence by all the parties and the media against the English , that same conspiracy which blankly denies equality of political treatment to the English ie an English parliament,English government and English insitutions apart from anything British.

The time is rapidly approaching where the awful discrimination against England will come in from the shadows and take stage centre. The Conservatives need to be prepared. The way to do this declare as a central piece of their forthcoming manifesto that a referendum will be held in England on the subject of an English Parliament in a federal United Kingdom.

Unlike most of the rest of the manifesto this should be done NOW ie in good time before the general election so that the full implications can sink in. It will be popular both in England and Scotland and become a central policy feature underwriting a Conservative electoral victory.

( It will also scupper Mr Salmond! )

Iain @ 12.09
I was careful to say "My own feeling...." which I hoped might have made it clear that what I said was not fact based but just opinion. However you now go on to make a quite different argument. What you say is, I suggest, not particularly affected by the Union. When you query the existence of the British State (to be consistent, what you surely mean is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; loose drafting can lead to unintended consequences!) what you say could apply just as much to England as it could to the UK. I think you are wrong to blame the Union for the sins you try to identify.
With such a depressed and defeatist outlook, you ought to be thinking of going to live on a desert island!

All this anti scottish stuff is nonesense, if you think we are getting to much money you are wrong and the answer is simple let us raise our own money and also give us 10% of the oil money to set up an oil fund.

I never thought I would say this, but I hate the Unionist Scum who are gladly sacrificing their own people in order to buy a few measly Scottish anti-English votes. How many English lives is a Scottish vote worth to you, Mr Cameron?

The sooner this rotting Union comes a grinding halt, the better off we will all be in England, because it ain't worth jack shit if you're dead.

"The Conservatives need to be prepared."

If not their representation will end up like they managed in Scotland, a minority rump of a party struggling for survival.

But I wonder if a threat to their political survival will see them more interested in sorting out the constitutional mess, because up till now the discrimination against their constituents hasn't got Conservative MP's interest, let alone work themselves into any sort of outrage. Not the discrimination against English young, not the discrimination against English sick, nor the discrimination against our pensioners, no not a bead of sweat shed for any disadvantaged English people. So you do wonder, as Conservative MP’s couldn’t be bothered to stir themselves for a group of people key to them getting into Government, whether Conservative MP’s could stir themselves even to get passionate about their own survival.

Do we do threat analysis at SW1H 0DL? Here’s a threat for you.

Labour will ditch Brown, it is a given. Then they will re-brand with a nice young shiny toothed Englishman like Minibrand and he will trumpet a step-change in policy.

Labour will steal the English question and announce lots of lovely English shaped promises.

You think not?

Did we know who last advocated an English parliament (apart from Frank Field MP)?

The Commonwealth of Britain Bill was a bill first introduced in 1991 by:

Tony Benn.

>All this anti scottish stuff is nonesense>

I am pro-English in as much as Salmond is pro-Scottish.

Why won't the Conservatives stand up for England?

This is ridiculous!

"With such a depressed and defeatist outlook, you ought to be thinking of going to live on a desert island!"

Well I am only seeing it as it is, after all its the actions by the British establishment which is unpicking the fabric of the British state. EU, mass immigration, multiculturalism, devolution, these are all establishment policies, policies foisted on us that we never wanted. So its a bit rich when some of us recognise what has happened, point out that the British state is a fragmented, fraying, dysfunctional state, that stands for nothing other than managed retreat and appeasement, all the result of the British establishment defeatism that we get accused of being defeatist.

PS Today we hear they aren't even prepared to defend our coastline, so the British state has thrown in the towel here as well.

The coastline in England, that is. Of course, it would be. That goes without saying.
And to add insult to injury, the home owners are forced by government legislation, to pay to have those homes demolished before the sea claims them. That way, Gordon gets their VAT and the companies also pay taxes from their fees.
More Celtgeld.

I think it is disingenuous of the TPA to misrepresent these figures as an issue for the Home Nations.

It is a regional issue and should be addressed as such. No one shouts about the way the North East has been excessively subsidised for the last 30 years. No one shouts about how the South East (excluding London), East and East Midlands have been used as cash cows for the last 30 years.

No one has pointed out how London's funding disproportionately rose as a seeming sweetener to Ken Livingston, who as Mayor of London, subsequently rejoined the Labour Party.

If the TPA are going to fight for us they should be fighting on the right ground and not moving into the realms of inflammatory nationalistic propaganda.

However, that does not mean I support the Barnett Formula or the results of the 'investment' that has resulted.

The Barnett Formula is an antiquated, inflexible and wasteful mechanism (based on an even more antiquated and inflexible system).

Why is it that over the last 30 years has the proportional allocation of monies has barely changed. What has the Barnett Formula achieved?

Clearly it has not been used to rejuvenate regions but to maintain them in a sorry state.

It's like a golden prison cell that has imprisoned the benefitting regions in a state of dependency. It is a regional form of benefit dependency.

A successful funding arrangement must put rejuvenation before subsistence.

The Barnett Formula and associated mechanisms must be scrapped and replaced with an alternative funding mechanism that has clear rejuvenating objectives for the use of the money and provides the flexibility so that as time passes funding can be re-allocated to the areas at most in need at that time. It must no longer be a regional welfare cheque. An approach along similar lines to lottery funding (properly managed of course) would be far more effective than the current benefits approach.

If a politically expedient Conservatives Party think that sticking their heads in the sand because they are 20 points ahead in the polls is the right thing to do, they will likely find that a considerable number of #the class of 2010# will be looking for new employment in 2014 / 2015.

Cameron needs to be strong on this and not like this spineless, politically self-serving Labour Government. Else he may find that the Conservative Party follows Labour into the political hinterlands far quicker than currently looks like being the case.

This country needs a Government that is going to do the right things for the people, not a Government that is going to misguidely do what they think is best for their political careers.

To fail to do so will only widen the divisions in the country and bring more contempt on our political system.

The overriding difficulty with Barnett is that it allocates expenditure on an arbitrary national percentage basis, irrespective of adjudged need in any given year. Has anyone calculated how much Scotland would receive, in aggregate, if UK expenditure on all of its various counties etc was allocated on the same basis as England's total is currently disbursed? Maybe Scotland's total would turn out to be more, who knows?

The other aspect is that Scotland can use its Barnett money in different ways to England. It is of no concern to me if Scotland opts for a particular set of goodies - free this, that or the other. Good luck to 'em, I say! - though, presentationally, such differences do contribute to driving the wedge between our two countries that much deeper.

What is wrong is that there is no devolved body specifically looking after the interests of England's population. That is not to say that we would get the same goody bag as Scotland enjoys - nor even any goody bag at all. This would depend on those elected by and thus electorally accountable directly to the voters of England.

Do we seriously think that by not scrapping the Barnett Formula to appease the Celtic Whinge, we're all of a sudden going to win 20 seats in Scotland and Wales? Get Real!

We should give notice that we intend to scrap the Barnett formula, and devolve more fund-raising powers to the Assemblies. That way, we win votes by stopping the subsidy to the Celtic Whinge, and we also get to say to Alex Salmond "Here you, go. You think you can do without a sibsidy, raise the money yourself"

We have more to gain by scrapping the subsidy than we are risking.

The answer is to devolve power (EU/Westminster/Cardiff) down to the lowest point possible - usually local councils - but also local schools, hospitals/area health authorities etc; not to mention giving individuals more power over spending by letting them decide which school/hospital etc they wish to spend their money. Also time, I think to reconsider how local revenue is raised - I favour a local sales tax (set locally) to replace VAT (set centrally). Regional economic differences could be dealt with by central funding of specific needs. That would allow us to see where this money was actually going.

"The coastline in England, that is. Of course, it would be. That goes without saying."

Of course, but do we hear a protest coming from our serried ranks of so called representatives from English constituencies in Westminster? No, not even a whimper!

"If the TPA are going to fight for us "

They are though one of the few prepared to do battle on our behalf. I was thinking you might get a half decent political party if the TPA, Migrationwatch, OpenEurope were amalgamated together to stand for election.

UKIP's (disaffected Tories) remedy for the inequalities that exist between the countries of the U (ha ha) K is to disband the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the N. Irish Assembly, and somehow return to the heady days of yesteryear when the United (ha ha) Kingdom really was united, of course I fell off my chair with laughter.
For those of you that disparage Alex Salmond for his independence ideology, don't forget who put him in the position he occupies, yes that's right the Scottish electorate.
Westminster representatives are shedding responsibilities faster than a 10 shilling whore sheds her drawers. They have nothing to do but supervise, sorry, blame all the "agencies" that do their work for them, no wonder people are becoming more and more nationalistic.

Iain, you are so right. And put bluntly - the British government doesn't give the English value for money, they don't intend to and they never will.
There will be one hell of a party when the Union implodes in 2 years time.

The North, the Midlands, the West Country and East Anglia deserve justice.

We can achieve this by twinning each of the local government areas currently or more recently existing there above Parish or Town level, but below County level, with a comparably populous area of each of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and London or the South East, and requiring by statute that both expenditure and outcomes across each of the relevant Departments of State must never vary by more than three per cent between any such area and any one or more of its twins.

And we can achieve it by legislating to reduce the pay of the relevant Ministers (always including the Prime Minister) by any percentage difference in either expenditure or outcomes, above three per cent, between any of seven regions (the three Northern regions, the two Midland regions, the West Country and East Anglia) and any of the other five (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London and the South East), with any two or more such differences in the given year added together for this purpose.

Justice must also be secured for the Highlands, Islands and Borders of Scotland, and for North, Mid and West Wales, including by amendment of the devolution legislation.

This can be done by twinning each of relevant the Scottish Lieutenancy Areas and Welsh Preserved Counties with a comparably populous area of the rest of Scotland or Wales as the case may be, and requiring by statute that both expenditure and outcomes across each of the relevant Departments of State must never vary by more than three per cent between any such area and its twin.

And it can be done by legislating to reduce the pay of the relevant Ministers (always including the Prime Minister at Westminster, as well as the First Minister in the devolved body where applicable) by any percentage difference in either expenditure or outcomes, above three per cent, between the peripheral and the central parts of Scotland, or between South Wales and the rest of Wales, with any two or more such differences in the given year added together for this purpose.

So the Conservatives will continue to court non-existant Scots support and approval,what a disgrace, shame on the whole party for this disgusting support of blatant anti-English discrimination,they quite literaly have English blood on their hands.

But, as Cameron has declared, Scottish blood coursing through his veins.

I agree with many of the comments on this thread, and I do think that David Cameron should NOT take it for granted that English voters are happy that Westminster represents them adequately - nowadays!

Since 1997 - the English have been regarded as an anachronism by this government! The main reason that they have encouraged the North/South divide - albeit unwittingly - is that they regard their heartlands in the North as THEIR representatives of England, and all those people who live south of Nottingham and Leicester are the dinosaurs that need to be ground into subservience!!!

I tend to think that splitting up the Union would not achieve as much good as some people would like, and would quite likely cause more trouble than it is worth. BUT, I do think it is about time that there was a definite recognition of English needs and priorities in Parliament, especially since it is England NOT Scotland, Wales OR N. Ireland that have to cope with the greatest number of immigrants that come to the UK!!!

AND..... Dorian Grape of Englandism @ 13.50 I entirely agree with your supposition that Labour will affect (pretend!!) to become more aware of the England problem, and come out with some policies or other (which when played out later turn out to be entirely SPIN). Why I would not put it past Brown himself to do it, as I posted on the main thread today, he will do ANYTHING to gained an ounce of popularity and a vote!!!! And Miliband is just the same!!!!!

Too much to expect sane comments on this subject eh Will Hanlon?

Another big news day for the TaxPayers' Alliance

Why would anyone think that a bunch of right-wing wonks (I think that's the correct word!) getting in to the news cycle is a good idea for us?

"Another big news day for the TaxPayers' Alliance

Why would anyone think that a bunch of right-wing wonks (I think that's the correct word!) getting in to the news cycle is a good idea for us?"

Totally agree with you Richard, and the fact that the veracity of the report is not even questioned in any way says it all.
I suspect that if another report was commissioned by an opposing organisation and then went onto reach an entirely different conclusion, it would be put under heavy scrutiny by this site and others who championed today's report.
I for one simple cannot be bothered anymore, some on the far right of the Conservative party still prefer to push policies which alienate rather than encourage unity within the party, never mind with anyone else.
I don't even think they realise just how unattractive it makes them sound and look.

Tim, I would check a couple of the comments on this thread.

Newsnight Scotland tonight was very interesting. The FOI act triumphs again, but I doubt that any of the detail will seep out into the media South of the Border.
Seems particularly apt timing in light of this report from the TPA...

Opportunism and appeasement are not vote-winning measures. The Tory lily-livered
idea that English voters should be penalised to keep a few fringe inhabitants of West and North Britain happy is bad politics.
Let the Scots/Welsh and Irish tax themselves to support their lifestyle.

Once again I shall say it but in a different way. When Tony Blair/Donald Dewar set up the Scottish Assembly, - at that time I said it was a clever way to split up the UK. I was immediately assured "Oh no it wouldn't." , but indefensively we are looking straight at separation right now trying to happen, while the whole of the United Kingdom is politically Hogg-tied by the illogical and pathetically childish West Lothian Question which it creates.
The ONLY answer to the UK situation is to untie ourselves, For God's sake admit we were wrong and get a life. If we don't, then we will indeed rot insanely in obscurity and self delusion which is what the Left has ever wanted for Britain all along. - Total Destruction of the British way of life and domination by foreign powers.

Never trust a Tory - if you are English.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker