Saturday, 2 May 2015

Osborne`s "northern powerhouse"

What a pity George Osborne didn`t find the objective to "revitalise the cities of the north" such an "exciting and creative area of public policy making" five years before the 2015 general election, rather than a mere ten days! (Power to the cities could reverse the Thatcher legacy,27/04/15) That could well have meant the section of HS2 from Birmingham northwards, and involving routes to Liverpool docks, taking precedence over reducing travelling times from London to the Midlands by a matter of minutes. An upgrade of the Manchester to Leeds railway is welcome, though long overdue, but for Osborne to describe the prospect as "HS3", with routes "built within the next parliament", is fooling no-one, and takes his disingenuity to Clegg--like levels
          Little rejuvenation has been possible in the mostly Labour dominated areas of the north when council grants from the government have been decimated, and when London and the south-east have always taken priority. Funny how this chancellor believes "in government as a force for good", when his economic plan involves the reduction of government spending to 1930s levels, and cuts to the welfare budget, mostly affecting the poorest and most vulnerable, of £12billion! Perhaps he would be better advised to devote more of his "energies" to regulation of the City, ensuring every rich individual and business pays the correct amount of tax, criminalising the giving of advice on tax avoidance and evasion, and substantially raising the minimum wage? 

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