But, in contrast, a promised replacement – the Common Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) – would be controlled by the government in London, allowing ministers to “direct the investment” and claim any success.
Report, Mr. By institute for government (IFG) think-tank warns the change risks “further damage to trust between the UK and developed governments”.
Tension has been rising since the Prime Minister The transfer was dismissed as “a disaster north of the border”.In remarks from Tory lawmakers that leaked last November.
and the internal market act have also been attacked as a power grab, in limiting powers for transferred capitals to set standards on goods and services, in the shake-up following the withdrawal of the European Union.
The IFG said the replacement of the Structural Funds created an opportunity to be “more flexible and less bureaucratic than the EU system”.
But it added: “This should be done in a way that respects transfer settlements and takes into account the existing role of developed governments in the administration of structural funds.
“Failure to do so risks further damaging trust between the UK and developed governments, at a time when inter-governmental relations are already strained.
“This could undermine the UK government’s prime objective of connecting the four UK countries together.”
The warning would lead to an existing row in the funding scale, with the new scheme not being launched until April 2020 – creating a one-year gap in spending.
The stop-gap fund is only worth £220m across the UK in the 2021-22 fiscal year – yet Wales insists it will receive at least £375m if it is still part of the EU plan .
The IFG report calls for clear criteria for how funds will be allocated across the UK, allowing local bodies to help identify potential problems.
A consultation should be reformed “immediately”, information should be shared on ministers accused of hoarding.
Only £14m has been made available to help local areas develop proposals to receive funding, which the study warns “is unlikely to be enough”.
In the six years between 2014 and 2020, the UK received €11bn of EU structural funding, topped by “match funding” from Whitehall.
England’s share was €130 per capita, but it was lower than Scotland (€180), Northern Ireland (€510m) and Wales (€780), indicating their high level of deprivation.
The Conservatives’ 2019 general election manifesto promised “minimums” to match EU spending levels in each of the four UK countries, putting heavy pressure on the party.