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A Budget that delivers on our plan for working people in the North East

At Summer Budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, set out the next stage of the government’s plan for the North East.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne today used his Summer Budget to set out the next stage in delivering on the government’s plan for working people in the North East and to build the Northern Powerhouse.

This Budget has delivered a tax cut for 1.1 million people in the North East, taken an additional 22,000 out of income tax all together, announced new opportunities for up to 220,000 apprentices and offers more childcare to working parents. Since 2010, there are 45,000 more people in work in the North East and 27,000 more businesses.

Putting transport at the heart of his plans to take the Northern Powerhouse to the next level, the Budget also set out how the government will help working people at every stage of their lives.

But there’s more to do to and that’s why, the Budget set out new investments in infrastructure, enterprise, skills and education to help deliver more jobs and investment in the North East.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

My budget today puts security first. It delivers economic security so Britain lives within its means, financial security for families, and national security for all.

A new National Living Wage for 80,000 people, and an income tax cut for millions more provides new support for people right across the North.

At the heart of our plans is an ambition to build a world class transport system and to invest in science, education and skills.

This is a Budget that delivers on our plan for working people in the North East and sets out the next steps in building the Northern Powerhouse.

Measures announced in the Budget will support working people with:

  • A tax cut for 1.1 million people in the North East with a rise in the Personal Allowance and an increase in the higher rate threshold. 22,000 more people will also be taken out of income tax altogether.
  • A significant pay rise for 80,000 working people across the North East with the introduction of the National Living Wage.
  • A doubling of the amount of free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds – meaning thousands of families in the North East will now receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.
  • Thousands of family homes in the North East taken out of Inheritance Tax altogether as a result of the increase in the Inheritance Tax allowance.
  • New opportunities for up to 220,000 apprentices as part of ambitious plans to grow the number of apprentices across the country.

The Budget also backs businesses in the region with:

  • A tax cut for businesses across the North East with a cut in the main rate of corporation tax to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2018.
  • An extra £1,000 for every business thanks to an increase in the Employment Allowance to £3,000.
  • Further support for 3,000 businesses in the North East from a significant increase in the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000.

The Summer Budget also includes investment directly to support the North East:

  • £30 million for an ambitious new transport devolution package for the whole of the North which will give Transport for the North statutory status and responsibilities. As part of this investment the government is now committing to:
    • devolving far reaching powers over transport to the North’s Mayor-led city regions to deliver fully integrated public transport systems supported by contactless payment technology.
    • establishing TfN as a statutory body with statutory duties to set out its transport policies and investment priorities in a long-term transport strategy for the North.
    • appointing a Chair, Chief Executive and executive team for TfN by the end of 2015 to accelerate TfN’s work programme, with an update on the Northern Transport.
    • Working with TfN to advance the introduction of Oyster-style smart and integrated ticketing across bus, tram, metro and rail services throughout the region, making this on of the top priorities for TfN’s newly accelerated work programme.
    • working with TfN to push forward plans to transform east-west rail and road connections via TransNorth and options for a new TransPennine tunnel.
  • £23 million of investment in six Next Digital Economy Centres across the country, including one in Newcastle.
  • The creation of four ‘Connected Health Cities’ across the North, assembling experts and technology to provide better care for patients by promoting innovation through using data. This builds on the £20m invested in Health North earlier this year and which will go live in Autumn 2015.
  • New Regius Professorships across the country will be set up in order to recognise excellence in universities across the UK. The competition will be launched later this year, with a view to making awards to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016.
  • The government is inviting bids for a new round of Enterprise Zones like those already up and running successfully in the North East such as at the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.
  • £90 million to extend the Coastal Communities Fund, from which the North East has already benefitted significantly.
  • The government will look into the case for renaming the A1(M) north of Leeds as the M1.

Notes to editors

These measures build on investment and support for the North East already committed to by the previous Government and reaffirmed today, including:

  • The commitment to invest £4.5 billion in transport infrastructure in the North East over this Parliament.
  • By the end of this parliament, the government will have delivered, on the Northern and TransPennine Express routes, free wifi for passengers, an increase in capacity of more than one-third and 200 new services every single day and a modern fleet of new trains to replace the old and outdated Pacer trains.
  • By the end of this parliament the Northern Hub programme will also be complete – delivering significant improvements to rail journeys from as far as Newcastle and Hull in the East to Chester and Liverpool in the west.
  • On top of this, the government will be delivering 65 new InterCity Express trains on the East Coast Mainline to Doncaster, York and Newcastle, bringing journey times down and providing people with more seats, reducing journey times from London to Leeds by 14 minutes. These new trains will be manufactured in the North East of England at Hitachi’s new £82 million manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, creating hundreds of jobs locally and thousands in the wider UK supply chain.
  • The government is also improving road connectivity in the North by upgrading the final stretch of the M1/A1 route between Newcastle and London to motorway. The A1 will be dualled north of Newcastle as far as Ellingham, and access to the Port of Immingham will be improved with upgrades to the A160/A180.
  • On top of this, the government remains absolutely committed to pushing forward with plans for delivering High Speed 2 (HS2) to the North by the early 2030s, which will deliver transformational step-changes in journey times, capacity and connectivity for cities across the region. The government will bring forward a Hybrid Bill for the first stage of Phase 2 in this parliament.
Published 8 July 2015