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Northern Powerhouse expected to be focus of government investment

As the UK Treasury plans to redefine its spending targets, increased levels of government investment are forecast to be pumped into the north of England.

The north of England is anticipated to receive new government investment and funding over the course of the next few years. According to The Times, the UK Treasury plans to redefine the rules that outline how and where the government makes significant investment involving transport infrastructure, business development and certain initiatives.

For decades, investment decisions by the government have been focused on gross value added to the national economy. Critics have often pointed out that this unfairly benefits areas with higher concentrations of people and businesses, such as London and the south-east.

The new policy by the UK Treasury would introduce numerous new metrics to determine where government spending and investment should be focused. These may include evaluating where investment could diminish gaps in regional productivity and rating the impact investment could have on the well-being of people in specific areas.

Election promises for the north

In the December 2019 general election, the Conservative Party won historic victories in northern constituencies that have long been considered safe seats for the Labour Party. Because of this, many are expecting to see more government investment in towns and cities across the north.

Throughout the election campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared he and his party will increase investment in the region’s infrastructure and transport, in addition to renewing focus on the Northern Powerhouse project.

Last year, Boris also promised to fund a new high-speed rail route between Manchester and Leeds. The improved route would likely boost the economy, create additional jobs and bring further investment to the two cities and wider region.

The next Budget is set for 11 March and is likely to have a focus on the north to help appease swing voters who put their trust in the Tories at the last election.

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