Rebalancing the Economy

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport 11:30 am, 21st July 2015

What steps he is taking to rebalance the economy away from London and the south-east.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government are committed to rebalancing the economy and strengthening every part of the UK. The summer Budget announced new commitments to rebalance the economy, including devolving further powers to city regions, inviting a new round of bids for enterprise zones and launching an ambitious transport package for the north of England.

Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport

I thank the Minister for that response. Currently, northern cities with elected Mayors have below-average economic performance in their region, whereas northern cities with above-average performances do not yet have elected Mayors. Why are the Government making a fetish of elected Mayors?

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I know the hon. Gentleman has a long-standing point of view in this regard. The important point is that we want to empower local economic areas to grow as fast as London and the south-east. Among the important measures in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill are the strong and accountable governance arrangements for, for example, Mayors.