COVENTRY South MP Zarah Sultana rubbished the Prime Minister’s ‘levelling up’ speech delivered in the city during the UKBIC visit.
Boris Johnson said the UK had the most unbalanced economy out of all our neighbouring countries and the Government needed to make sure everyone, everywhere had the same opportunities.
After comparing the life expectancy and employment figures of different parts of the UK, he said: “Levelling up can only be achieved with a strong and dynamic wealth creating economy.”
He spoke about cutting crime, improving transport links and grassroots sport, building 40 new hospitals and recruiting 50,000 more nurses.
He said the single biggest thing the Government could do was to invest in public services to change people’s lives and help them into a good job on decent pay.
“The private sector has to invest to create those jobs and we must create conditions for business confidence.”
But Ms Sultana hit back, labelling it a ‘meaningless soundbite that was totally at odds with is record in office’, adding: “he’s not fooling anyone.
“His party has overseen 11 years of managed decline and growing inequalities, slashing school budgets, NHS workers’ pay, and social security support, while handing tax cuts worth billions to his super-rich mates.”
She accused the Tories of using the pandemic to ‘hand out Government Covid contracts to friends and donors while letting poverty run rife’.
“More than one in three children in Coventry South are growing up in poverty, but there was nothing in this speech for them or to meet the needs of struggling families in our city.
“Johnson didn’t even bother to mention Coventry once in his speech.
“A Government that was serious about ‘levelling-up’ would do everything from ending the two-child welfare limit, immediately lifting 600,000 children out of poverty, to providing large-scale public investment to build the green industries of the future in Coventry and across our regions, not the pitiful promises this Government made.
“Without a massive programme of public investment to redress regional inequalities, improve the lives of the British people, and tackle climate change, talk of ‘levelling-up’ will remain cynical, empty sloganeering.”