Heather Jameson 23 November 2020

Sunak to re-write Green Book to level up the North

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce plans to re-write the Green Book in the spending review this week, as part of the Government’s commitment to levelling up.

The Treasury Green Book sets out guidance on how to judge the value generated public spending projects. The current guidance favours investment in the South East over Northern projects, because the economic return is higher due to existing high property prices.

Now the Government has confirmed it will reveal the changes in the spending review, a move which could see more substantial investment in infrastructure for the North.

Plans to update the Green Book were originally trailed by exchequer secretary Kemi Badenoch earlier this month. She told Parliament: ‘We are planning to conclude the review and publish the updated green book at the spending review.’

‘We will also be using the spending review to drive forward the vital infrastructure projects that will aid our economic recovery from the crisis and level up the whole UK.’

The Chancellor is expected to announced £100bn for the National Infrastructure strategy in the spending review. Extra cash is expected for transport investment, tackling the climate crisis and boosting broadband.

Mr Sunak is also expected to announce plans to shift Treasury civil servants to a new northern headquarters in the coming weeks.

The single-year settlement is also expected to announce a controversial pay freeze for public sector workers.

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