The man who devised the unpopular Barnett Formula – which critics claim has robbed the North-East of billions of pounds of public funding – has died.
Former Labour Cabinet minister Lord Barnett has died aged 91, his party has said.
He was the Treasury chief secretary in the 1970s who devised the system for allocating public spending to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that came to be known as the Barnett formula.
In an interview in 2010, Lord Barnett revealed that he had not expected the mechanism to last for three years, let alone 30.
Speaking in a debate on a select committee report on the formula, he said:
“If we don’t do something about it soon, the only people who will benefit from this are the people who want to break up the UK, like the SNP in Scotland.
“I hope whoever is in power after the next election they will implement the recommendations of this report – it is vital for this country.”
The formula has remained in place, despite Lord Barnett’s arguments that it was a temporary fix and ought to be reformed as it now produces unfair results.
Source – Northern Echo, 03 Nov 2014