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Tom Forth @thomasforth
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
It is untrue for The Secretary of State for Transport to claim that the North-South divide in transport funding is a myth. It undermines public trust in UK government and the UK civil service. Shameful, even if he's found a way to mislead with the data without lying. Shameful.
Sadly it also reduces the impact of any investment the North does get. Because when it's delivered by a government that lies, no-one believes it'll happen until it happens, and people wait to invest instead of investing in anticipation. There is no more polite way to say it.
Here are four pieces I've written on how this kind of thing leads to people rightly rejecting expertise.………
I remain available in Leeds or Manchester, at The Department's convenience, to work through the numbers and publish, via @ODILeeds, an open agreed assessment of the current situation. My DMs are open.
Here's where we start. Go to the ONS, open the expenditure dataset, find the capital expenditure on transport row, extract each region, sum Northern and South East regoins, and do a cumulative series for each region. You get a number. That's where we start. Let's discuss that.
We can do all kinds of corrections. Apply some inflation, we can normalise for the fact the Greater South East is somewhat more populous, I'm up for doing it all, I've done it all, I've corrected LSE papers when they tried it and messed up, I'm here and ready to do it.
Then we can talk about how you're cooking the books now to try and show what you want to be true. Assigning HS2 spend in London as spend in North England. Shifting TfL's capital grant off the transport books via "business rates retention". And probably lots more we've missed.
The past was closed and elitist. You could get away with this stuff back then. Thankfully that's becoming less true. The present is open. We can see what you're doing. You can lie to us like you used to, but now we know, and soon we'll win.
I decided to add The Midlands to the graph.
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