Today I raised the matter of Structural Funds with the Prime Minister.
Structural Funds are basically an EU funding system which distributes money on a regional basis to projects etc in a local area.
Whilst I would rather see less Europe rather than more, if there is funding and grants available to our area we must ensure we get our fair share. Today during a debate on Europe I asked the Prime Minister to ensure that any reforms to the system of allocating this money is made transparent to MPs. So that I can make the case and ensure east Kent is not left out of pocket.
I want to ask the Prime Minister about structural funds, which are very important to many regions of the country, including east Kent. Will he ensure that if the map for the UK is to be changed, Members of Parliament for the relevant areas will be consulted and will have a chance to say where they stand?
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what he says. Under the new arrangements, there will be three different types of support for the regions. There will be the less-developed regions whose GDP per capita is less than three quarters of the EU average. In the UK, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, west Wales and the valleys will qualify for that support. Then there are the transition regions whose GDP per capita is between 75% and 90% of the EU average—that is the list I read out earlier. However, all regions can of course receive some structural funds for competitiveness and employment goals. We will be able to make more details available as the full figures become available.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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