George Osborne’s visit to Cornwall announcing new funds for the region has received a cool response from South West Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato. Mr Osborne launched a new economic plan for the South West; promising new money, and said there was a ‘strong case’ for investment in the region’s railways. However, Dr Scott Cato was dismissive of Mr Osborne’s promises:

“The extra money being offered to coastal towns pales into insignificance when you consider the devastating impact of austerity cuts on the region. It is also dwarfed by the millions of pounds worth of EU funds earmarked for Cornwall that are put at risk by Tory threats to leave the Union. We have also heard too many times about the ‘strong case’ for investment in the region’s railways, particularly in the run-up to a general election. Yet we wait endlessly for the necessary investment to create a truly resilient regional railway system.”

Molly Scott Cato has also called on the government to protect Euro-funded projects in Cornwall, ensure that they are managed within Cornwall rather than from offices in Whitehall, and that money due to the region is paid up. These are issues she has previously raised in the European Parliament. These demands have also been made by the South West TUC who claim that projects in Cornwall are waiting to receive grants of up to £500m. Dr Scott Cato concluded:

“What Cornwall needs is devolved powers, allowing the people of the region to decide their own destiny and how to allocate funds. That is the way to build a resilient local economy and improve self-reliance.”

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