IN IT FOR THE NORTH EAST?
Education will be high on Mr Hammond’s priorities after a combined £2.8bn in cuts and costs imposed upon them by the Government. Paul Whiteman, the NAHT’s general secretary, has said: “The autumn Budget is the last chance for money to make it to schools this year.” Will Hammond listen? The jury’s out on that one.
What about the NHS?
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the National Health Service needs more money. The Government has already said that it will lift the 1% cap on public sector pay rises for some workers, including NHS staff, although it has emphasised the role of independent pay review bodies in determining increases for other public employees. To pay for all NHS staff by 3% – the rate of inflation – would cost about £1bn.
What to expect for the North?
There are long-term demands for the abolition of air passenger duty to counterbalance moves already under way in Scotland.
It will mean cheaper fares over the border which could impact on Newcastle International Airport and the local economy. Despite lobbying by business leaders and a commitment in 2015 by then Prime Minister David Cameron not to allow the devolution of APD to impact on regional airports, it doesn’t seem to be on Hammond’s radar just yet. Although he might surprise us.
In a document submitted to the Government for consideration in the autumn Budget, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) underlined fully costed, evidence-based proposals for four areas of Northern excellence which could, with government funding and business support, “rival the best countries and regions in the world”.
Among them was the enhancement of the region’s digital clusters, which it believes can generate GVA of £41.1bn (in 2011 prices) in 2050. Perhaps the region can get something out of this.
So not looking good there. Anything else?