English regions have lost up to £671m ($996m) in funds for combating recession, according to figures from the European Commission.That may be so, but it still means that England loses out, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have had their full allocation. It stinks, especially in a time of economic recession. That money could have presumably been used on infrastructure projects which create a lot of jobs. But it seems our government couldn't get off its collective arse and fill in the necessary paperwork to claim the money.
As reported in the FT last month, the government declined a deadline extension offered by Brussels to help the UK spend the money. Ministers took up the option for devolved regions but rejected it for England. The unspent money will instead be recouped by the Treasury, which can deduct it from future contributions to European Union budgets.
I'd like an explanation please, because the one offered by Hazel Blears's department so far is totally unconvincing.