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Territorial Resource Allocation in the UK: A Rejoinder on Needs Assessment

  • Arthur Midwinter
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    In a recent paper in Regional Studies Kevin Morgan argued for the replacement of the Barnett formula with a needsbased formula. However, the case for change is weak, in terms of both defining the problem and advocating a solution, and it fails to recognize the severe conceptual and measurement problems in such an approach. The current system has provided patterns of resource allocation which are reflective of differences in needs. It is a simple, transparent and objective approach, and has flexibility to deal with discrepancies through negotiation with the Treasury. A needs-based approach would not solve the problems of resource allocation, as it would provide scope for greater disagreement over the selection and weighting of indicators. Advocates of such an approach to territorial resource allocation have yet to provide a convincing rationale for change, or a coherent model of needs assessment for consideration, and are rash to assume that Scotland would lose, or Wales would gain from such changes on the basis of existing social, demographic and geographic differences.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 563-567

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:5:p:563-567
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    1. Kevin Morgan, 2001. "The New Territorial Politics: Rivalry and Justice in Post-devolution Britain," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 343-348.
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