Former Goldman economist Jim O'Neill to join Treasury

O'Neill Image copyright Getty Images

Former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill is to become a key figure in the UK Treasury.

Mr O'Neill coined the term 'BRICs' [Brazil, Russia, India, China] to refer to developing economies.

Chancellor George Osborne tweeted that the retiring Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman is to become the Commercial Secretary at the Treasury.

Mr Osborne chose Mr O'Neill to "make devolution and the Northern Powerhouse happen".

English cities will get powers on housing, transport, planning and policing under Mr Osborne's plans.

Greater Manchester - which will take on the powers when electing a mayor in two years - should become a blueprint for other large cities, he said.

A Cities Devolution Bill will be in the Queen's Speech later this month.

Mr O'Neill is chairman of the RSA City Growth Commission, which claimed the economy has seen 5% less growth per year between 2000 and 2010 as a result of "chronic" underinvestment outside London.

It urged an overhaul of transport, housing and broadband provision and more house building.

Mr O'Neill also recently headed a UK government-appointed review team calling for global antibiotic research.

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