THE failure of successive governments, Tory and Labour, to empower all young people was laid bare by Rotherham-born Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, in an excoriating speech to Parliament calling for the Treasury to be broken up.
A longstanding social mobility campaigner, The Yorkshire Post columnist’s comments were even more pertinent because she was a Treasury minister before holding three Cabinet posts. She knows how the Government works – or does not – in this case.
Describing the Treasury as “dysfunctional” and “not fit for purpose”, Ms Greening confirmed what many here had long suspected – it “prioritises political pet projects”, sets Numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street “at loggerheads”, fails to plan for the long-term and ignores the social mobility agenda.
And while her critique was rejected by the new Treasury Minister Jesse Norman, who cited regular levels of employment and increases in the National Living Wage in the Government’s defence, this intervention is further justification for the Power Up The North campaign being led by The Yorkshire Post. Change will only happen when the Treasury, either in its current or revised form, believes in the North and views the 15 million people who live and work here as an investment in the future rather than an irritating inconvenience.