Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mr Woolas, Let Us Look at the Truth

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mr Woolas, Let Us Look at the Truth

Article excerpt

Local Government Minister Phil Woolas was not only under fire last night ( he jumped into the fire.

The minister, having taken umbrage at the criticism which came his way when it became clear that ( again ( the North-East had lost out in the annual grant allocation, obviously felt compelled to put the record straight.

In a letter to The Journal he expressed his surprise at reading earlier this week the criticism generated by his Government's paltry 2.7% increase in the cash allocated to our local authorities.

The increase was, he insisted, 3.2% and The Journal's calculation that 2.7% amounted to just a 26p per person increase was therefore "misleading".

Not misleading at all as it turned out.

Adding nearly pounds 8m to the total figure ( cash that should have been paid two years ago ( was not the cleverest move.

It was patently obvious to anyone who follows such issues that this was either a simple, if advantageous, error, or another of those "smoke and mirror" tricks that the Government "doesn't do any more". …

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