Powering the north
So today takes us north for the Chinese State Visit, with the UK and China set to agree a number of partnerships designed to unlock the potential of one of the Government's flagship projects; the Northern Powerhouse. These deals expect to include the first direct flights between Manchester Airport and China, as well as the appointing of a Beijing firm BCEG as main contractor for the Middlewood Locks regeneration project in Manchester. No doubt Chancellor George Osborne will be behind the manoeuvring of these deals, with many siting the Northern Powerhouse as one of his key personal legacies as Chancellor.
Meanwhile back in Westminster the issue of tax credits is hotting up, with a key vote on the Chancellor’s planned cuts expected in the House of Lords on Monday. Many here believe that opponents of the cuts may prevail, which yet be another vote that the Government has lost in the upper chamber. Cameron has already questioned the House of Lords’ authority to block the changes, leaving a rather interesting few days ahead. The Government needs these plans to pass into law as smoothly as possible. The longer this process takes, the longer this leaves the door open for greater public criticism of both the plans and the party, who have often been seen as the party of the rich.