09 August 2006

Postcode Not A Lottery

Over a meal and an entertaining game of pool I was introduced to a person who has been working for the last 3 years on a private project that will bring massive tangible social benefits (I will blog later on this). Unfortunately for this project, he tells me that he has been repeatedly refused funding solely on the basis of his postal address. He's from a middle-class Southern Conservative-run town. It's been suggested to him that he moves to Portsmouth or Wales as he would then get the funding he needs for his project. Nice...

Funnily I have had a few similar conversations over the last month with people who don't benefit from the postcode lottery in one way or another. A cousin of mine is looking to do a human rights MA but is struggling for funds. If she lived in Wales she would be confident of securing a grant but she lives in Worcestershire so forget about it. A New Yorker in Prague was telling me about how there are lots of EU funds around to help fund people on her economics and politics MA course and that she's trying to work out how she might be able to access them.

I have to note that all 8 supercasino bid sites are located in Labour areas. Has anyone else got any more stories about this funding bias. It goes without saying that I think this resource allocation is highly damaging.

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

There's even a phrase for it: "Rent Seeking" - nasty stuff. And is one good argument for land value tax at least being used to finance locally infrastructure capital projects (not that this applies to the examples you mentioned, but it's all the same really just different scales).