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Tory Empty Slogans

Simon Lightwood MP says: 10 years on since The Northern Powerhouse was first proposed, it still feels like an empty slogan

‘The Northern Powerhouse’ was proposed by George Osborne as the coalition’s flagship project to narrow the chasm between the North and South. Yet, these phrases - like the more recent iteration, 'Levelling Up', seem like empty slogans from successive Conservative governments who have never taken improving our region seriously.  

In West Yorkshire we have always been brimming with potential, but we have been let down by endless broken promises.  

We were promised HS2 which would connect with a new Network North rail project, linking up our region and bringing new investment opportunities to our towns and cities. In October, Rishi Sunak dumped this promise, a real slap in the face for communities like Wakefield.  

At a time when the most vulnerable need more support than ever, the Government continues to cut local authority budgets, impacting vital local services. Since 2010, real terms spending has gone through the floor. Spending on roads and transport, for example, is down 40% and spending on housing is down 35%.

It’s clear that this Tory administration is too focused on internal bickering. They have completely given up on governing.  

Labour has an ambitious plan to move power out of Westminster and into the hands of communities. Giving people control over decisions that affect them, including transport and planning. Labour’s new devolution deal will empower communities with real powers not empty slogans, allowing them to boost their local economy and improve the lives of their communities.

Through Labour’s National Wealth Fund, we can empower all parts of our country to unlock the jobs and industries of the future with local communities at the heart of these decisions. Our plan for the highest growth in the G7 is a plan for growth in every part of the UK.  

We are already seeing the difference that Labour in power makes across the country. In Manchester, Andy Burnham is already taking buses back into local control. Our brilliant West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, has already made a difference with her £2 fare cap on our buses and has laid out the road map for a new era of West Yorkshire transport – consulting on local control for buses in West Yorkshire, as well as working towards a future mass transit system for our region.

After 14 years, the Conservatives have given up and totally abandoned any pretence of levelling up our country. Labour’s offer of an era of national renewal will give communities like Wakefield the power to grow our economy, invest in the industries of the future and create the next generation of well-paid, unionised jobs.

Under Labour, devolution will not be an empty promise but an opportunity for all parts of our nation to flourish.  

Everything Labour sets out is built on the foundation of economic responsibility. We saw the consequences of behaving recklessly with our economy during the disastrous Conservative mini-budget last year. And working people are still paying

the price.

Labour offers a decade of national renewal to replace 13 years of national decline. Change is the question at the next election and the answer is Labour.  



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