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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?

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