North stir

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I do not know whether to be more worried by the Chancellor’s geography or his economics. I have looked again at the atlas and find that the large triangle from Carlisle via Newcastle to Middlesborough is still in England and reasonably defines the north of that country. I suppose Manchester being a “northern powerhouse” is a step up from thinking the HS2 to Birmingham opens up the North (eventually). As to the economics, the “multiplier” effect seems to have been repealed. Normally £12 billion spent would generate further economic activities from the process as associated consumption increased demand and businesses responded.

Belief in “trickle down” from the rich getting richer benefiting the poor depends on this, as well as on other less likely behaviour. A cut of this extent would be expected to choke off demand and the livelihoods of those meeting it. However, Messrs Osborne and Duncan Smith do not seem to think the market works this way. Interesting.

LV McEwan

Kirkhill Road

Edinburgh

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