I've never understood how HS2 was ever meant to help the "Northern Powerhouses". Creating a high-speed rail-link to London would simply act as a talent-magnet to London-based firms who could offer more money.
One of the reasons Manchester has been so successful in the digital economy over the last few years is combined with a decent talent pool, salaries aren't as ridiculous as they are in London and property is cheaper, making it more viable for start-ups and less risky for expanding businesses.
If you take the talent pool away, then the other benefits aren't worth much.
I genuinely hope they scrap it and invest in a public transport system in the North that's as good as London's. That's what we need.