David Mowat used his speech in the Budget Debate to highlight the problem of regional imbalances in the UK. He noted that under the last years of Labour, economic growth per head in London had accelerated far beyond that in the regions and that the UK's economy was now more dependent on its capital city than France, Germany or Holland.
During his speech, Mr Mowat also warned of the rising costs of energy in the UK, welcomed the additional £10 million grant for Daresbury Laboratory and made the case for continuing to move ahead with major infrastructure projects to help boost growth in the regions.
Mr Mowat said:
"One thing that the Budget has to do is tackle the problem I have outlined, and I am delighted to say that we have started to do that. The Budget has developed 21 regional development areas, one of which I hope will end up in Warrington.
"One policy developed before the Budget was the national insurance holiday for start-ups in the regions, and I was genuinely disappointed that Labour Members voted against it, in favour of a different proposal that, by the way, would have simply put more money into London. We have to address the imbalance, and that is what we will do. The Budget has started to do it already."