Read Chamber's statement in full regarding the Chancellor's statement on transport investment in the North.
Jonathan Walker, North East England Chamber of Commerce head of policy and campaigns said: “It’s heartening that the Chancellor is using his conference speech to draw attention to transport investment in the North, but the fact is the sums involved in today’s announcement remain relatively modest for infrastructure investment of this type, and the projects funded ought to be considered business as usual. Of course the benefits of HS2 should be spread beyond the new track and across the North; of course local road upgrades are needed to tackle congestion. More investment is always a positive, but we’re still waiting for the kind of grand, transformative vision which could make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.
”With regard to housing, continuing Help to Buy is positive, giving some certainty for the future to the sector. But, in the North, affordability isn’t our problem, it’s the drive for jobs and growth. There is a limit to what Help to Buy can do for us, while the Department for Communities and Local Government is moving the goalposts with a new methodology to reduce the North’s housing need, making it harder for us to reach our ambitions.”