Dan Jarvis said that levelling up was "under resourced, under defined and overly centralised" and was insufficient to deliver the transformation necessary to tackle inequalities and empower the north.
Mr Jarvis was speaking at the Great Northern Conference 2021 event at Sheffield's Cutler's Hall where he was delivering the opening remarks.
He said that the North was both "building back and open for business" and ready to lead a genuine change to the economy.
However he lamented the lack of progress in yesterday's Budget.
"I am not sure that he Chancellor mentioned the north once," said Mr Jarvis,
"The Northern Powerhouse seems to have been forgotten.
"The individual announcements are welcome but collectively they will do little to tackle the long standing inequalities that are holding us back."
He added: "We are not going to wait for Government to act, we are investing in region, transforming transport to active travel and buses."