Burnham calls for more investment and powers as new report highlights North - South divide

Date published: 05 December 2018

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called for more investment and devolution for the North as a new report showed the scale of the North - South divide.

The Mayor’s call came as the IPPR North’s ‘State of the North’ report showed;

  • Public spending fell in the North while it rose in the South
  • 2 million working-age adults and 1 million children live in poverty in the North
  • The very lowest life expectancies in England are found in northern neighbourhoods

While devolution is showing positive results as Greater Manchester tackles homelessness, improves health outcomes and boosts its economy, more powers and investment are needed to transform lives in the North. 

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:  “This report once again makes the irrefutable case for greater investment and devolution in the North to be a national priority.

“This Government promised us a Northern Powerhouse and Northern leaders stand ready to work with them to close the North - South divide which pervades right across public spending, poverty rates and life expectancy.

“But, almost five years after the Government promised us a Northern Powerhouse, we learn that public spending in the North has fallen while rising in the South. This has got to stop and it is time that the North came to the front of the queue for public investment.

“With the powers we have, Greater Manchester is working together across services and agencies to better prevent and address the causes of complex issues such as homelessness, addiction, offending, and ill mental health. We are determined to face tough challenges head on and, with devolution, succeed in changing the lives of our people for the better. 

“We know that devolution is working.  It has had a profoundly positive effect on the culture of our city-region. It has created a new energy, a sense of possibility as we take control of our future and do things our way. 

“Northern business, political and civic leaders are getting organised and now is the time for the Government to ensure we have the investment and devolution we need to rebalance our economy and transform the North.”

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