Yesterday’s Budget was billed as make or break for Philip Hammond. The early signs are that he did well, but how did the North do?
Here the Policy North team breaks down the Budget:
Peter Bould, director of communications
The Chancellor went into yesterday's Budget with very little room for manoeuvre.
Stuck between a fiscal commitment to abolish the deficit by 2025 on one side and falling productivity plus slower GDP on the other, there was not much cash to splash. But the Government needed to seize back the agenda and show it has the plan to go with the vision to create a country that works for everyone.
On that aim, we think Philip Hammond just about managed. There were some eye-catching announcements including £500m for tech, £540m for electric cars and £2.3bn for R&D plus abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000.
After the disastrous election result in the North earlier this year, it was also crucial that Philip Hammond set out a vision for the North backed by hard cash.
Despite having very little wriggle room, the Chancellor played a decent hand and even managed to crack a few jokes.
Callum Crozier, policy director
A North Tyne devolution deal will deliver £600 million of extra funding. The local authority will have full autonomy on how this money is spent, bringing both money and more powers to local people in the North. The Chancellor also announced £337 million of investment to overhaul the Tyne & Wear Metro system, replacing the 40-year-old trains with a brand new fleet. I also welcome the fantastic news that the Chancellor fully supports Newcastle becoming a Tech Hub, supporting businesses and skills in the area which will helps local communities, businesses and people prosper. The region will receive a share of £21 million investment to support the Tech City initiative.
It is clear that our Chancellor and this Government have vision for a globally competitive North which will thrive with the opportunities that Brexit presents us. The North was the pioneer of the industrial revolution, and I have confidence, with investment such as this, we will pioneer the 4th Industrial Revolution in digital innovation.
David Harrison, president of Policy North
We have made the case in Whitehall for extra money to invest in the North’s rural economies so I was pleased to hear Philip Hammond confirm a commitment to do just that. This is excellent news.
It will help to deliver much needed improvements to local infrastructure and enable Borderlands businesses to scale up their operations and create more jobs.
Stephen Purvis, Policy North chairman
Connectivity is a key driver of a more productive workforce so we welcome the £337m investment in the Tyne and Wear Metro. The money comes on the back of new legal powers given to the North to set our own transport priorities.
This, along with the commitment of a North of Tyne devolution deal, is great news for the region.
The doubling of the Enterprise Investment Allowance to £2m for knowledge companies is a cleverly structured and welcome announcement. This policy shift will encourage larger quantum investments in scale-up rather than startup businesses, whilst also keeping the momentum of private capital investment into high margin knowledge, technology and intellectual property rich businesses.