Call for tax-raising powers to drive on the Northern Powerhouse


Politicians and business leaders are demanding to be able to raise taxes in order to drive on the Northern Powerhouse.

They have set out a 10-point plan calling on the Government for more bold changes they say are necessary to turn the Northern Powerhouse from "rhetoric to reality".

Their plan for the North is being launched at a Parliamentary reception for MPs and ministers on Monday evening.

The Building the Northern Powerhouse: Next Steps for Transformation dossier calls for new tax-raising powers so local authorities can invest in regional infrastructure and boost local economies.

It also advocates giving responsibility for the Northern rail network to a new body, to ensure rail remains a top priority.

And the group has demanded new investment funds for the North, backed by financial products such as City Bonds, to provide capital to be spent on projects.

Chairman of the Rail in the North All Party Parliamentary Group Jason McCartney said: "It is great to see this private sector initiative responding to the Chancellor's plan to promote wealth creation across the North."

The Colne Valley Conservative MP added: "Rebalancing the UK economy in the face of challenging global market conditions will play a key part in underwriting the nation's future prosperity."

The report echoes calls from more than 2,000 business leaders who recently attended a Northern Powerhouse Conference in Manchester.

The event's managing director Keith Griffiths said: "These businesses haven't got it wrong, many have waited decades to have an opportunity to deliver once-in-a-lifetime change and progress for the region.

"They know their local markets inside out and must be engaged to take forward a strategy that will fuel the Northern economy."