Alex slams Government’s “Northern Powerhouse” failings

The slowing pace of growth among businesses in the North East is a symptom of the Government’s failure to reinvigorate regional economies in the north, according to Alex Cunningham, and real action needs to be taken if the ambitious rhetoric is to become a reality.

Labour’s Stockton North MP was speaking following publication of the Quarterly Economic Survey by the North East Chamber of Commerce, which revealed that the pace of growth among North East firms fell in the third quarter, with a slowdown in the number of UK sales and UK orders.

Alex said:

“The falling rate of growth across the North East confirms what many already knew – that the Government is failing to restore confidence to businesses throughout the region.

“Grandiose promises to create a northern powerhouse are quickly unravelling, with concerns remaining among businesses over the continued threat to withdraw from the European Union and place unnecessary hurdles in the path of trade.  These fears are only made worse by the deepening cuts to public expenditure, with local authorities again being hit hard and government departments facing significant reductions in funding.

“While there are positives that can be taken, we must recognise the wider context.  Not only does the North East again have the highest unemployment rate in the country, planned infrastructure investment is the lowest of any English region and dedicated business funding is at risk of being snatched away.

“While the Government talks a good game, they are failing to convert their rhetoric into reality.  If Ministers are truly committed to narrowing the north-south divide and rebalancing the economy, much more needs to be done to restore confidence and spur investment.”