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Tories are failing to commit to the long-term investment needed to transform the Northern economy

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Clive Lewis MP and Gill Furniss MP at Sheffield Forgemasters

 

The Tories are failing on infrastructure

The Government has unveiled a National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline. However, of the top twenty infrastructure and construction projects receiving the most funds, only two are in the North East, North West or Yorkshire and the Humber.

Source: ‘National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline’, 5 December 2016


The Tories are failing on jobs, growth and pay 

  • Economic growth between 2010 and 2015 was lower in the North East (7.7%), the North West (7.2%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (5.2%) than across the UK (9.9%).
  • Over the next decade, average GVA growth per year is projected to be lower in the North East (1.6%), the North West (1.9%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (1.8%) than across the UK (2.1%).
  • The unemployment rates in the North East (6.8%), the North West (5.3%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (4.9%) are all higher than the UK average (4.8%).
  • The employment rates in the North East (70.5%), the North West (73%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (73.6%) are all lower than the UK average (74.5%).
  • Average earnings in the North East (£492 per week), North West (£502pw) and Yorkshire and the Humber (£498pw) are all lower than the UK average of £539pw.

Source: ‘Regional and Country Economic Indicators’, House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, 18 January 2017

 

Tory cuts to local government are hitting the North hard 

  • Tory cuts to local government spending power across England are hitting the most deprived councils hardest. The six most deprived areas are all in the North, all of whom have seen cuts of more than three times the national average cut of £169.

Deprivation rank

Council

Change in spending power per household 2011/12 to 2019/20

1

Blackpool

-£566.28

2

Knowsley

-£761.58

3

Kingston upon Hull

-£535.56

4

Liverpool

-£670.94

5

Manchester

-£613.52

6

Middlesbrough

-£585.70

7

Birmingham

-£695.34

8

Nottingham

-£474.91

9

Burnley

-£191.38

10

Tower Hamlets

-£585.29

 

Source: Labour Party research on change in spending power per household from 2011/12 to 2019/20 based on House of Commons library and DCLG spending power 2016 -2017 statistics.

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to the Government’s announcement of investment in the Northern Powerhouse, said: 

"Today’s announcement of just over £500 million for the so-called Northern Powerhouse will be a welcome boost for the North. However, the figure pales into insignificance when you consider that local authorities lost £18bn of Government funding in real terms between 2010-15, with the poorest councils bearing the brunt of the cuts.

“Labour has committed to investing £250 billion of direct capital expenditure in UK infrastructure. This is the scale of investment needed in order to repair the damage caused by decades of de-industrialisation in the North of England.
 
“From what we have seen of the Government’s industrial strategy so far I am not convinced they are committed to the long term investment needed to transform the Northern economy.”

Clive Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who last week visited South Yorkshire as part of Labour's ongoing Industrial Strategy consulation, said:

"This belated attempt to develop a proper industrial strategy is a step in the right direction, but once again what the Tories are offering looks like too little too late.

“We await further detail, but what's been announced so far will fall far short of getting us back to where we were in 2010, let alone equip our economy for the challenges of the 21st Century. The £170m announced for vocational education, for example, will do little to plug the £1.15bn hole in the Adult Skills Budget created by Tory cuts since 2010. 

“It will be a great shame if the Government wastes this opportunity to put our economy on a new path. But they have already watered down a series of flagship commitments, from putting workers on boards to tackling executive pay, and there are too many people on the Tory benches who think that the only role of Government is to deregulate markets. The reality is that a Prime Minister who wants to turn us into a tax haven cannot be trusted to deliver an industrial strategy.”

 

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