As the Chancellor delivered his first Autumn Statement since the Brexit vote, he set out his plans to put ordinary working families first, increase the National Living Wage, build more homes that local people can afford, end tenants’ fees and continue the fuel duty freeze for the seventh successive year to help families across Cheadle make ends meet.
As an advocate of investment in the Northern Powerhouse, I was pleased that the Chancellor also outlined key funding schemes to improve connectivity across the North, investing in businesses to improve productivity. A new £23 billion National Productivity Investment Fund will aim to boost productivity across the country by investing in research to keep Britain competitive and bridge our productivity gap.
In particular, having written to the Transport Secretary ahead of last week’s announcement I was pleased that the Chancellor included in the Statement an ambitious programme of major road schemes in the North. This additional £1.1 billion investment in local transport networks will include £220 million to address specific pinch points on strategic roads into our biggest cities. I have consistently pressed this case for our local ‘pinch point’ junction at Gatley.
Excellent transport networks are essential for growth and productivity – and this ethos is central to the Northern Powerhouse. This vital investment comes alongside the announcement last week of the preferred route for HS2 lines and confirmed the Government’s commitment to two hubs in Manchester delivering on the promise “to rebalance our economy beyond London and the south-east, ensuring economic prosperity and opportunities are shared throughout the country.”
By backing businesses and investing in our transport networks, this Autumn Statement continues to build an economy that works for everyone.
[Reproduced from Mary's column in the Stockport Express, 30.11.16]