Responding to the Chancellor’s speech, KPMG’s Chairman in the North, Chris Hearld comments.
Chris Hearld, KPMG’s Chairman in the North, said:
“The Chancellor couldn’t have given businesses and citizens in the North a clearer message that the Northern Powerhouse remains a government priority than he did today, with a focus on productivity, the publication of a Northern Powerhouse Strategy and a reaffirmed commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“With productivity in the North significantly lower than the UK average, the Chancellor was spot on to talk about addressing the UK’s own internal productivity gap as a key part of his ambition to raise our national productivity to competitive levels on the world stage. Without improving the North’s record in this measure, he won’t be able to achieve a significant boost nationally.
“As businesses across the North have been vocal in stressing, and as the new Northern Powerhouse Strategy references, a key barrier to pulling up our productivity socks is the lack of connectivity on patch. So, it was nothing less than a relief to hear the Chancellor reaffirm his commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail, which is a much needed piece of the transport infrastructure jigsaw required to address this challenge.
“The additional borrowing powers for Mayoral Combined Authorities is a further, welcome, green light to a more devolved future for the UK city regions, albeit, it keeps the pressure on them to develop in the form the government has specified.”
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.