Friday, 1 May 2015

Politics: Party wants to put Yorkshire First

Rod Sutcliffe has said that Yorkshire has a comparable population to Scotland, yet doesn’t have the same powers to make decisions on a regional level.

“Yorkshire is big enough to manage itself. Yorkshire has five million people - Scotland has five million people,” he said.

“Scotland has self-government - Yorkshire doesn’t have any of those things. The key is to have regional tax-raising powers and powers to decide how to spend it.

“What we get here is we get funding and then we’re more or less told how to spend it.

“Nearly all of the council funding is already allocated before we even get it, so there’s no spare cash for any sort of development. If Scotland can do it, we can do it.”

Dr Sutcliffe said he would like to see powers devolved to all regions across the country, with the ability to raise taxes and fund projects locally.

“All regions should have more say in their affairs - the way I’m trying to do that is to use Yorkshire as an example,” he said.

“If you look across Europe, most countries have federal systems of regional government.

“If you look at Germany, the average is about five million.

“In the long-term we’d like to see most of the powers that Westminster has, and most of the decisions that Westminster takes, being devolved to the regions.

“The only things a national government needs to be managing are foreign affairs including international trade and development, defence, immigration and currency.”

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