In response to the Chancellor George Osborne’s budget statement today, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities, said:
“The summer budget saw the Chancellor set out a new agenda for the coming Parliament – focused on transforming the British economy from one characterised by low skills, low wages and high taxes, to one based on high wages and low taxes. While there are still questions about the cumulative impact of the range of tax, welfare and wage reforms that were announced, what is certain is that the impact on cities like London or Cambridge will be different to that on Newcastle and Blackburn.
“Giving Greater Manchester greater powers should enable the city to deal with these changes more effectively, and it’s also encouraging to see progress in devolution deals for the Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield city-regions. However, time is running out for places to agree a deal. The Chancellor has made it clear that for cities to gain new powers, they must introduce a metro mayor, and there is an expectation that deals will be finalised in time for the Spending Review in the Autumn. Now the onus is on leaders in places like the North East, West Midlands and South West to act, before they fall even further behind Manchester.
“We now await more details of the Government’s plans to boost productivity in Lord O’Neill’s forthcoming plan to be published on Friday. Given his commitment to the cities and devolution agenda, we hope this will include specific measures on infrastructure investment, skills and innovation, and reflect the different challenges that cities face in growing their economies over the next five years.”
For all press enquiries, please contact Brian Semple, Press Manager for Centre for Cities, on 0207 803 4316 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Centre for Cities is a research and policy institute, dedicated to improving the economic success of UK cities. We are a charity that works with cities, business and Whitehall to develop and implement policy that supports the performance of urban economies. We do this through impartial research and knowledge exchange. For more information, please visit centreforcities.org
Head of Communications