Powerhouse is a joke on us

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The Northern Powerhouse is becoming a joke on us all in the North East.

A recent report by Sheffield Political Economic Research Institute (SPERI) calls into question the Governments commitment, if their ever was any, to rebalancing the economy.

Research shows that the bulk of investment is made in London of almost £45billion and the provinces suffer in comparison. Against a per capita spend in London of £5,305 the North East gets a miserly £414 per person well behind every other area in the country. In comparison the North West get £1,946 per person and even Yorkshire and Humberside get more than double spent on them at £851 per person.

Newcastle Airport is being redeveloped at a cost of £14million whereas Gatwick is having a £497million refurbishment.

It is clear that our share of the national cake is limited to the crumbs. Did I mention the new £4.2billion sewer system planned for London?

While this may be necessary, can anyone imagine what a difference that sort of money would make to the lives of people in the North East?

The one bright spot in this area is the much maligned EU and without its investments and grant aid we would be in a much worse situation than we are now. Nissan and Hitachi are success stories but without the EU their commitment would waver.

From being the industrial powerhouse of the country we have seen the shipyards and the mines go, shut by the southern elite. From being an area with much to recommend it we have degenerated into an area which has a miserable 3% of the businesses in England (not the UK).

The Government simply cannot be trusted to drive change in this area and is shackling councils in the North East with massive cuts in funding. The report gives the lie to their rhetoric and shows they are not a Government of the people and for the people.

We would be far better off as part of Scotland. They at least have the Barnett Formula to ensure they can have free prescriptions, free university places and soon no bedroom tax. Where do we apply to join with a government who is in touch with its people with the added advantage of having no Tories?

Richard Beck