Press Story

Responding to the Budget, IPPR North Director Zoë Billingham said:

“Regional growth is key to national growth – and the chancellor hinted he understands this in today’s Budget, though fell short of truly ambitious action to shift the dial on regional inequality.

“The historic trailblazer devolution deals in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands and an intention that others will follow are a huge step forward in empowering local leaders and communities. Through these, the chancellor could set the country on a path to an upgraded form of English devolution to unleash the potential of places.

“12 re-shaped investment zones are an improvement on their predecessors, but Canary Wharf is a strange model for the chancellor to point to because Tower Hamlets, where Canary Wharf is based, has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK. We need a better model than that. What’s more, it was supported by major transport and infrastructure investment – something denied to the North.

“Four years on from the promise of levelling up, with an election looming, today’s Budget was the government’s last chance to go big on regional inequality. As inequalities widen and key promises like investment in rail in the North remain broken, today’s announcements are but a shuffle forward. To speed up levelling up, we now need promises kept and ambitions to close inequalities raised even further.”