Receive free UK politics updates
We’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest UK politics news every morning.
More than a third of the money allocated to the UK prime minister’s flagship numeracy programme in its first year was handed back to the Treasury unspent, research has revealed.
The Multiply scheme is intended to improve adult maths skills across the country, a personal priority for Rishi Sunak.
Launched two years ago, when the prime minister was still chancellor, the £560mn programme was designed to address what he described as a “tragic” level of low numeracy skills, while forming part of a bid to create a “high wage, high skill, high productivity economy of the future”.
But of the £81mn given to English local authorities for courses in 2022, £30mn was returned to the Treasury. The funds are provided in annual tranches, and Treasury rules mean unspent money cannot be rolled over into the following year. Some areas returned the vast majority…