Boris Johnson to Boost Spending in the North and Midlands over London

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses a press conference during an European Union Summit at European Union Headquarters in Brussels on October 17, 2019. (Photo by THIERRY ROGE / Belga / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by THIERRY ROGE/Belga/AFP via Getty Images)
THIERRY ROGE/Belga/AFP via Getty Images

The Treasury under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to shift government spending outside of London, focussing on economically deprived areas in the north and the Midlands.

The proposals, which would go into effect in the spring budget, would focus less on national economics and instead devote resources to improving the standing of communities which have long been left behind in favour of spending in the capital.

Under the new “One Nation Conservatism” spending plan, areas in the north of England and the Midlands would see an increase in funding for transportation infrastructure projects, business development, and free ports, reports The Times.

The result will be billions of pounds invested in government civil service jobs and spending in areas of the country that Boris Johnson was able to convince to vote for the Conservatives in his landslide victory over the Labour Party.

Former Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell, called Johnson’s new spending plans “an excellent idea” while criticising the London-centric spending of past governments.

“A traditional cost-benefit analysis merely looks at what constitutes an economic gain without examining the effect of that gain on different groups of people,” he said.

“It means it is far harder to justify an infrastructure project that would link up northern towns and cities than it would be to justify a similar project in the south of the country,” he concluded.

The increase in civil service jobs and business initiatives will be accompanied by the development of a new £800 million defence research agency to be located outside of the capital. The new agency will aim to boost the United Kingdom’s ability to compete at the cutting edge of scientific research and will be based on the American Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), according to the Daily Mail.

The prime minister will use these new spending initiatives to shore up support for the Tories in traditional Labour strongholds.

Boris Johnson is also planning on moving part of the Conservative Party’s political machine outside of London, to focus on securing the so-called ‘Blue Wall’ of seats won over in the general election.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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