Chi Onwurah questions Minister on Transport Spending (North-Eas​t)

House of Commons on Thursday 12 January 2012
Text taken from Hansard.
Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) (Lab): What proportion of central Government spending on transport is spent in the north-east. [88232]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker): According to the latest figures published by the Treasury, of the £10,380 million spent on transport in the UK directly by central Government in 2010, £293 million was spent in the north-east, which was broadly comparable with expenditure in the preceding years under the Labour Government. An additional £363 million was spent by local authorities, with some of the funding coming from central Government.

Chi Onwurah: The Minister referred earlier to the transport spending announced in the autumn statement, but the Institute for Public Policy Research found that of that only 0.04% was spent in the north-east. The Government will be spending £2,731 per head in London compared with a mere £5 in the north-east, and we know that high-speed rail will not even get as far as Leeds until 2033, so will the Minister look at decentralising transport spending so that the north-east does not continue to be left behind?

Norman Baker: First, we are looking at decentralising transport spending. Secondly, the proportion of expenditure in the north-east is not particularly out of line with the population there. Thirdly, the IPPR report to which the hon. Lady refers is not complete; it did not, for example, include the December announcements on local major projects and did not take into account the further £1 billion from the regional growth fund. It is not a complete analysis.

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