What does the 'mini budget' mean for the North East?

Kwasi Kwarteng outlined measures which he says will boost the economy and ease the squeeze on people's pockets. Credit: PA

People across the North East are still digesting the contents of the Chancellor's 'mini-budget', which he labelled the 'biggest tax cutting event since 1972'.

With the rising cost of living and soaring energy prices causing hardship for many, all eyes were on Westminster as Kwasi Kwarteng outlined measures which he says will boost the economy and ease the squeeze on people's pockets.

Among the announcements were new "investment zones", plans to speed up major infrastructure projects and major tax cuts.

Here is what the announcements could mean for people in our region.

Tax and personal finance

The Chancellor's mini budget has been described as the "biggest tax cutting event since 1972". Credit: PA

The Chancellor confirmed plans for a reversal of the 1.25% increase in National Insurance which, he says, will mean a million people will pay £240 less in tax each year.

There were also plans to bring forward a 1p cut to basic rate income tax by a year - which the Treasury says will help 1.3 million people across the region keep £150 more of their earnings.

The 45% rate of tax will also be scrapped, meaning those earning more than £150,000 will pay just 40% tax.

Stamp duty for first time buyers is scrapped up to £425,000, while other buyers will not have to pay the fee up to £250,000.

'Investment Zones'

Four areas of the region are in discussions about becoming 'investment areas'.

There are four areas across the region in discussion with the government over becoming so-called 'Investment zones'.

  • North of Tyne Combined Authority

  • North Yorkshire County Council

  • Sunderland City Council

  • Tees Valley Combined Authority

Under the proposals, each would be able to offer time-limited tax cuts to businesses in a bid to create jobs and boost productivity. These could include a zero rate for Employer National Insurance contributions on new employee earnings up to £50,270 per year and total business rates relief on newly occupied or expanded premises.

The thinking is that this, in turn, would encourage more investment in other areas such as shopping centres, offices and apartments.

The Treasury says it will only set up these new zones with the backing of local leaders, working alongside them to draw up tailored proposals for their area.

Freeport areas, such as Teesside, could also be given the chance to convert to becoming an 'investment zone' on a case-by-case basis.

Other areas will also be able to come forward to register an interest in becoming an 'investment zone'.


Kwasi Kwarteng says he wants to see planning rules 'liberalised' to speed up major infrastructure projects. Credit: PA

The Chancellor says he wants to see nine infrastructure projects in our region 'fast-tracked' under the plans.

They include:

  • The Tyne Bridge and Central Motorway in Newcastle

  • Northumberland rail line

  • Dualling the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham

  • Carbon capture projects on Teesside

  • Dualling the outer ring road in York

  • Improvements to the A689 Corridor between Wynyard and Hartlepool

He wants to see major projects, such as new road and rail links, sped up across the country by easing planning rules and making more land available for housing and commercial projects.

Kwasi Kwarteng MP said: The time it takes to get consent for nationally significant projects is getting slower, not quicker, while our international competitors forge ahead.

"We have to end this. To support growth right across the country, we need to go further, with targeted action in local areas. We will liberalise planning rules in specified agreed sites, releasing land and accelerating development.

Universal Credit

People claiming Universal Credit will face stricter rules. Credit: PA

Earlier this week, the North East Child Poverty Commission called on the government to pause Universal Credit sanctions to provide more relief for low-income families in the region.

Instead, it has been announced that those who claim Universal Credit will in fact face stricter rules - having to take active steps to seek more and better paid work, or risk having their payments reduced.

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