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£50 billion Regional Rebalancing Programme of infrastructure spending across the nations and regions of the UK - especially Northern Powerhouse .

December 9, 2019 8:00 PM

Ed Davey at marchThe Liberal Democrats have unveiled ambitious plans for a £50 billion Regional Rebalancing Programme to invest in infrastructure projects outside London, helping to tackle ingrained inequality across the UK.

The Liberal Democrats have earmarked £50 billion to reverse regional under-investment from the Conservatives, not least their failure to deliver on the promise of the Northern Powerhouse, as a key priority.

This £50 billion ring-fenced by the party will go towards major, sustainable infrastructure projects, such as electrifying railways, increasing the availability of charging points for electric vehicles and improving broadband access.

Introducing the plans, Liberal Democrats Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

"For far too long, people have seen their communities up and down the country miss out on the investment needed. Now, any form of Brexit will escalate the problem and make people poorer.

"Neither Labour or the Tories can square their spending promises today with the cost of Brexit. They are writing promises on cheques that will bounce.

"Only the Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to invest £50 billion in our regions, promoting growth, connectivity and enhancing our environment. We will give local and devolved authorities given a meaningful say in how funding is used, so that communities can prioritise projects that offer them the most value.

"Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit so we can invest billions across the UK, helping to tackle ingrained inequality."

The Liberal Democrats will:

  1. Introduce a £50 billion Regional Rebalancing Programme of infrastructure spending across the nations and regions of the UK.
  2. Establish a £3 billion Just Transition Fund, as part of this programme, to support communities negatively affected by policies to tackle the climate emergency.
  3. Set an ambitious National Industrial Strategy to transform the economy and develop Local Industrial Strategies within it. This will incentivise clustering by businesses and universities with particular specialisations.

The £50 billion Regional Rebalancing Programme proposed by the Liberal Democrats would invest in areas outside London and the South East. The money would go towards infrastructure projects such as:

  • Walking and cycling routes
  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Railways - electrification, improvements, (re-)opening lines
  • Trams and light rail
  • Tackling fuel poverty by insulating houses
  • Measures to enable a just transition as we move from oil and gas to renewable energy
  • Flood prevention and adaptation
  • Tree planting
  • House building
  • Broadband
  • Rural service hubs
  • Catapults/R&D investment
  • High Street improvements

To ensure that funding is meeting communities needs, we will give local and devolved authorities a meaningful say in how funding is used. And in addition to these national priorities, local authorities will be able to bid for funding to address other local priorities