The Budget contained good news on jobs and unemployment but national figures mask the reality that certain areas are feeling the benefits of recovery more than others. Overwhelmingly, cities have driven the recovery, with our larger cities, and in particular London, leading the way in job creation. And yet despite the welcome news of a City Deal for Cambridge and another for Glasgow currently in development, this was an overwhelmingly national Budget with few wins for cities.
In a Budget all about resilience, the Chancellor missed an opportunity to make the most of cities for delivering a stronger national economy. A more radical approach to fiscal devolution, giving cities greater control over economic growth and the ability to target policies according to their needs, is in the interest of local actors as well as national government. Giving cities greater freedoms and responsibilities will enable them to do better. It is also vital if we are to achieve national priorities such as reducing the welfare bill, boosting business growth, building more homes and growing the UK economy overall.