Boris Johnson is facing calls from conservatives in the north to keep his promises to level up by triggering a new investment boom in the region.
The Northern Research Group (NRG) of MPs said the region needed its own Big Bang comparable to the deregulation of the City of London in the 1980s to provide opportunity and prosperity.
The group includes many of the so-called Red Wall Tories who captured traditional Labor strongholds in the 2019 general election victory. Auckland Bishop MP Dehenna Davison and Sedgefield MP Paul Howell are among the members.
In a report written with the think tank Center for Policy Studies, the NRG said the government now needs to match the radicalism of voters who are supporting conservatives for the first time with a radical agenda of its own.
The goal of a Northern Big Bang should be to unleash a torrent of investment in the Northern economy, to generate the productivity gains, economic growth and higher wages that are so desperately needed, he said. -he declares.
These proposals, and this investment, can help create a Northern Big Bang, comparable to the 1980s Big Bang in the City of London, which was so instrumental in creating new opportunities and economic growth in London and the South. is.
The so-called Big Bang, under Margaret Thatcher’s rule in 1986, brought about a change in the rules governing the stock market and consolidated London’s position as a major financial center.
Over the past decades, according to the report, London and the South East have monopolized investment, talent and attention. Today the northern economy, measured by gross value added per capita, is three-quarters of the average size of England.
The report calls for a new initial investment incentive, cash payment to attract new investment and global capital to the region.
This could be explicitly focused on green growth and achieving Net Zero, for example by incentivizing investment in new gigafactories that would help spur a green industrial revolution.
Other recommendations included leveraging UK Infrastructure Bank investments to unlock private sector investment where possible, creating a new Northern Infrastructure Bond to attract global investors, and introducing full expense accounting for businesses nationwide, or at least allow all capital expenditures for northern businesses to be entered. off for two years.
The document also calls for the automatic approval of planning requests that create more than 100 new permanent jobs in the region when they have not been determined within two months, and for an optional, alternative and expedited planning process for investors planning to invest 20 million in the local economy, or whose investment will free up more than 250 jobs.
To ensure that local decision-making remains at the heart of this regeneration project, the group pleads for the creation of a new Growth Council for the North, to help guide investments, and of an obligation to relaunch the North, to encourage local investment in local economic growth. .
The report says the various proposals put together have the potential to unlock billions of pounds of private sector investment in the region.
There is a special opportunity to make the North the home of the Green Industrial Revolution that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for, he said.
The innovation and technology that will enable us to achieve our zero net ambitions have to be instilled somewhere, and the north of England is the most obvious place, given its manufacturing strengths and industrial pedigree.
NRG Chairman Jake Berry said: In the last election millions of voters in the North broke with tradition by voting for the Conservative Party, in many cases for the first time.
The Prime Minister must recognize that they did it not only to secure Brexit but also to voice the systemic disadvantages felt in many communities that were fed up with being overlooked for the benefit of London and the South East.
The measures we have proposed will help the Prime Minister and this government improve the economy and make the north one of the most investable places of modern times.