London and the chancellor's 2016 autumn statement

London and the chancellor's 2016 autumn statement

Despite saying that the UK is too dependent on the capital, Philip Hammond has given it at least some of what its politicians have been asking for

Look at it this way: UK economic growth is slowing, public borrowing will be higher than expected and the government no longer thinks it can balance the budget by 2020. Much of this is down to Brexit. Good old Boris. We’ve got our country back. Now we are free to scavenge for consolations from an autumn statement that seeks to limit the damage done by the referendum outcome, including in resilient London, the Remain City on which Leave Nation may depend more heavily than ever in the worrying years to come.

Chancellor Philip Hammond remarked that “for too long, economic growth in our country has been too concentrated in London and the south-east”. True, but that is also what you would say to a British euroscepticism that often goes hand-in-hand with hostility towards the capital. And though Hammond gave London’s mayor, its boroughs and its politicians of almost every type nothing like the transformative devolution package they desire, he did do some things to suggest that the government grasps that it cannot afford to ignore the capital’s pleas for more autonomy. He also observed that it is “one of the highest productivity cities in the world”, with Britain’s other big urban centres lagging far behind.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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