Chancellor Speech - We need a Northern Powerhouse


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EXERPT: Chancellor of the Exchequer on what we can do to make the cities of the north a powerhouse for our economy again.

Welcome to the Power Hall in the great Museum of Science and Industry here in Manchester.

We are surrounded by the beam engines and hydraulic accumulators and turbines that made this part of Britain the economic powerhouse of the world a century ago.

And I’m here to talk to you today about what we can do to make the cities of the north a powerhouse for our economy again – with new transport and science and powerful city governance.

I’ve been a Member of Parliament here in the North West of England for 13 years.

Indeed, I’m the first Chancellor to represent a seat in the north of England for over 35 years.

But as you can tell from my accent, I wasn’t brought up here. I was born and raised in London.

Being a Londoner proud to represent a Northern constituency gives me a very personal perspective on the time-worn debate about north and south, London and the rest.

I grew up with the cliché that if it wasn’t happening in London, it wasn’t happening at all.

And my time in Parliament has been shaped by another cliché: that the dice are unfairly loaded against the north; that our capital city to the south has sucked economic life and talent away from here.

It’s the context of almost every media interview I’ve done here, from when I was first a parliamentary candidate to my time now as Chancellor.

I’d like to try to escape both clichés today, and get closer to the truth.