Levelling Up funds paltry compared to reunification of Germany cost - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Richard Smithson, Hawksley Avenue, Chesterfield.

I WATCHED with interest the analysis on the TV comparing the Levelling Up White Paper with the cost of reunification of Germany 30 years ago.

This was estimated at £1.2 trillion – not dissimilar to what needs to happen in this country between the North and South.

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So, if the Levelling Up Fund is set at £4.2bn, this means that Germany spent 285 times more to achieve a levelling up.

A visitor walks along the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauer Strasse on February 5, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Picture: Carsten Koall/Getty Images.

To put into context, the new Lower Thames Crossing scheme is costing £6bn – was a White Paper needed for this?

Is the idea of a White Paper meant to convince us in the North that the Government is serious about bringing radical change?

In Yorkshire on infrastructure alone, we have the dualling of the A64 which has been separately needed for the last 50 years.

The upgrade of the A1 to motorway standard and a Leeds city region integrated transport network, including a tram system, would easily spend all of the £4.2bn.

This does not take into account any of the improvements greatly needed in the rest of the North and Midlands on infrastructure alone.

This does not include investment needed in education and social care which have been cut so drastically over the last few years.

Considering that HS2 and the new high-speed rail line from Leeds to Manchester has been cancelled, how can we have any influence in what happens in our region?

Does the Government really think that we are so naive to be taken in by this derisory proposal?

From: Stephen Crees, Pontefract.

AS we appear to be at the beginning of the end of the Covid crisis, we must be ready for the next, and that one is the cost of living crisis.

We have seen prices rising faster than incomes, the cost of energy is the main driver.

Everything needs energy, so obviously the costs of goods and services have increased.

There are many reasons for this, we are running out of North Sea oil, we have shut down all the mines and the power stations that consumed their coal. Nuclear energy is an unpopular source, so we rely on wind and sun.

The drive towards being a carbon neutral economy will break millions of household budgets. The push for green, will put many into the red.

This will be a make or break year for a lot of families. What can or will the Government do to avert another crisis?

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

TOM Richmond is right (The Yorkshire Post, February 5) – why should we believe the Levelling Up White Paper and its 12 so-called ‘missions’ when the Prime Minister has been so dishonest over Downing Street’s parties and so many other scandals?

He treats everything like a joke – and presumably thought it was a laugh to promote the White Paper on a vintage tram in Blackpool because that is what poor Northerners expect.

He’s wrong. We want much more, starting with the PM who is capable of telling the truth and being honest with the public over their policy plans. That person is not Boris Johnson who has betrayed the trust that was placed in him in December 2019 when he ‘borrowed’ Labour votes to supposedly get Brexit done.

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Germany teaches us that levelling up will be a long haul: Kevin Hollinrake