One Yorkshire Financial Case

Today’s Yorkshire Post highlights a report commissioned by those councils supporting the One Yorkshire Devolution Initiative. The report, produced by Steer Economic Consulting, evidently states that devolution could add up to £30BN a year to the Yorkshire economy by 2050 and that Yorkshire’s economic diversity, far from being an obstruction to devolution, should be seen as a positive advantage.

We have not yet seen the report, but these findings seem reasonable enough to us. We believe that devolution could “kick start” economic growth within the region and that by working together we can maximise the advantages that our economic potential and the Yorkshire brand give us.

Those who say that Yorkshire is not an economic area and, therefore, cannot have devolution are just talking nonsense. An economic area can be anything you want it to be. If the area is too complex to be administered by a mayor, then give us a parliament.

If anything, £30BN per year added to the region’s GDP by 2050 could be a conservative estimate. Achievement of this could depend on many variables including the people involved, and the financial settlement arrived at with the central government. Nevertheless, the potential is clearly significant. Some of us would say that Yorkshire should be achieving £150BN a year GDP now as opposed £112BN actually produced.

Now that we have a consensus of opinion within the councils of the region for One Yorkshire, a question for the government must be why are they continuing to deny the region a fair hearing on devolution? If the region is not achieving its potential because it does not have the right to have a say in its own destiny, then the UK must also be losing. If the UK government is not supporting the interests of its citizens, then why is it there?

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