Responding to today’s Budget Statement, Dr Peter O’Brien, Executive Director of Yorkshire Universities, said:
“The forecast that inflation will fall by the end of the year is positive. However, it is important that any direct and indirect effects of reduced rates of rising prices are passed quickly on to consumers and businesses.
We welcome the announcement about the proposed new Investment Zones in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, based on high-value innovation clusters, with universities at the heart of these plans. The Zones should reflect the distinct advantages and assets we have in Yorkshire, and they should be designed and led by local leaders and partners. Crucially, the Zones should find it easier to access other measures announced today by the Chancellor. They must also help place our region onto an accelerated and sustainable path of higher public and private investment in local and regional research and development and innovation, given the direct contributions this makes to increased productivity and improved prosperity.
On local economic growth, the Government is right to devolve greater responsibility to, and signal enhanced fiscal autonomy for, the regions, but it could do more and move faster. We support the Chancellor’s intention to roll out multi-year and single settlements to Mayoral Combined Authorities, and look forward to South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, and other areas in our region, enjoying the benefits and certainties of longer-term budgetary planning.”