Powerhouse investments ‘dwarfed by council cash cuts’ - Labour

Jon Trickett
Jon Trickett
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LABOUR HAS cast doubt on George Osborne’s claim to be creating a ‘northern powerhouse’ by suggesting spending on projects is dwarfed by cuts to councils in the North.

The party claimed the Government had invested just over £400 million so far in the ‘northern powerhouse’ plan while councils had faced £3.3 billion in funding reductions since 2010.

Labour’s figures only included investments made since the Chancellor first coined the ‘northern powerhouse’ phrase in a 2014 speech.

They also did not include non-infrastructure commitments such as the £30 million given to Transport for the North last year to develop smart ticketing on public transport across the North.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett, the Shadow Communities Secretary, said: “George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse is clearly a Northern Powersham.

“He has left the North with a £3 billion deficit and yet claims to be building a Northern Powerhouse.

“The Tories have continually left the North down, with severe cuts to services, increased deprivation and much lower levels of investment.

“It is also staggering that the Chancellor has claimed that so many projects are his when half of them were started before he even announced his “Northern Powerhouse” policy. Three were even started under Labour, which he is now trying to take credit for.”

Last week’s Budget included £300 million to accelerate improvements to the M62, develop a trans-Pennine tunnel connecting Manchester to South Yorkshire and a new high speed rail network across the North.