The Treasury will move one-fifth of its entire staff to the North of England as a part of the government’s plans to “level up” parts of the country.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the announcement this morning, after ongoing speculation there would a decentralisation of power away from Whitehall and to the regions.
Sunak also announced this morning that the Treasury green book, which mandates how funding decisions are made, will also be reviewed.
This could potentially free up the Treasury to fund more projects in less wealthy areas.
He told Sky News today there would an “economic campus” created in the North to house staff from the Treasury and “other economic facing departments”.
Sunak added that Treasury offices will also be opened in Wales and Northern Ireland to add to the existing one in Scotland.
“We are driving economic policy in this country, it’s important that we have a presence everywhere in this country,” he said.
“I believe in making sure that wherever you live in the country there is opportunity for you.
“It’s absolutely not just about building a road here or a railway station there, it’s about ensuring that everyone can fulfil their dreams.”
Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda has been at the heart of the early days of his administration, with a wave of investment expected in next week’s budget.
It has also led to the government considering ideas such as moving the House of Lords to York to devolve power away from the capital.
When asked by the BBC how how “levelling up” would be measured, Sunak said: “You will be able, of course, to measure it in the stats on income growth.
“You’ll be able to measure it in where we’re making our investments in infrastructure.
“It’s about a feeling that people have that where they happen to be born, where they happen to grow up, is not going to be the determinant of how well they do in life.”
The Treasury’s shake-up comes after Boris Johnson recently changed staffing arrangements to combine staff between Number 10 and Number 11.
This means that Sunak’s staff will report directly to the Prime Minister’s office, likely to chief Johnson aide Dominic Cummings.
This new arrangement forced former chancellor Sajid Javid to resign.
Javid said no “self-respecting minister” would accept the new arrangements that were going to be forced on him.