Treasury written question – answered on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons the UK is ranked fifth in the comparative productivity levels of G7 countries; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the levels of productivity in rural and urban communities in the UK are equal.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

We recognise that UK productivity is lower than some of our peers. But we must also recognise that we have a number of strengths that we should continue to build on. We are the world’s fifth largest economy. We have many of the best universities on earth, are one of the most attractive places in the world to do business and lead in many 21st-century technologies and innovations. Closing our productivity gap, which exists compared to other nations but also between regions in the UK, will be vital in unleashing the UK’s potential.

We are committed to levelling up opportunity across all places in the UK. This means making sure that prosperity is shared across all our towns and cities. So far, we have announced a £5bn package of investment for buses and cycling, opened up a consultation on Freeports, and we’ve confirmed that we will proceed with HS2 to deliver essential North-South connectivity, greater capacity, and shorter journey times.

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