The Liberal Democrats are proud to release ambitious plans to end the North/South divide.
The Liberal Democrats will reverse regional under-investment from the Conservatives and "bring the North to the front of the queue for once" with a huge £50 billion regional growth investment.
The party will fix the problems in the North rather than just making it easier to get down South.
The £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.
The Lib Dem Spokesperson for the North told Westminster politicians that living in Manchester it "not a steppingstone to London."
Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for the North John Leech said:
"There is always so much bluster about the North/South divide at election time, but I've been banging on about it for decades.
"Westminster's answer always seems to be 'Connect Manchester to London'. It's time politicians down South realised that living in Manchester is not a steppingstone to London.
"We need to fix the problems in the North rather than just making it easier to move people down South.
"That's why I'm proud to unveil our ambitious new plan to end the North/South divide and invest in the North like never before.
"We will ringfence more than £50 billion for our cities and regions outside of London and the South East, and bring the North to the front of the queue for once.
"Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future for the North."
Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey added:
"Any form of Brexit, whether red or blue, will make Britain’s economy weaker and 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.
“In contrast, every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit, build a brighter future and invest billions into our vital public services.”
The Liberal Democrats will:
- Introduce a £50 billion Regional Rebalancing Programme of infrastructure spending across the nations and regions of the UK.
- Establish a £3 billion Just Transition Fund, as part of this programme, to support communities negatively affected by policies to tackle the climate emergency.
- 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
- 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.