Budget 2016: ‘Chaos reigns’ says Deputy Director of SPERI

Craig Berry gives his reaction to the latest budget in an article for the Huffington Post which you can access here and in the video below.

Craig also commented on the budget and the Northern Powerhouse for the University of Sheffield:

craigberry_200The Northern Powerhouse featured heavily in today’s budget, yet the government has yet to introduce any measures that will substantively transform the growth potential of the North of England. The agenda remains a rather hollow one. There were a handful of announcements on investment into infrastructure projects –all fairly limited in nature, and still paling in comparison to infrastructure investment in London and the South East. George Osborne did a very good job, as he always does, of trumpeting the significance of project that would be undertaken as a matter of routine in similar economies in North America, Western Europe and East Asia. The much more important story here for the Northern Powerhouse is that today’s budget strongly reinforces the government’s intent to undermine local government in England. Osborne announced that local authorities are to lose in entirety their responsibilities for primary and secondary education by 2022 (even as many, perversely, take on more responsibility for further education), with all schools set to become academies, and therefore autonomous from local government. He also announced top-down cuts to business rates, without mentioning that revenue from rates is set to become a key source of local authorities’ income as central grants are increasingly withdrawn. Allowing local authorities to keep the revenue from business rates, but micro-managing the terms upon which it can be raised, is a very strange form of decentralisation.