Northern England sees the least investment of the developed economies !
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A think tank said the north of England receives one of the lowest levels of investment among developed economies.
If the region were a country, Greece would be the only OECD country to see a decline in public and private investment, according to IPPR’s State of the North report.
The researchers found that the UK as a whole ranks 35th out of 38 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in terms of receiving the least investment.
Had the UK OECD average for 2017-2020 been applied, around £397 billion more would have been invested.
“Set back because of the huge disparities”
The institute said the UK and the North suffer from “enormous disparities” and a “systemic lack of investment” in research and development, social infrastructure and transport.
The report highlights the extent of regional disparities, including that productivity is about £7 lower per hour worked in the north than the England average, and hourly wages £1.60 lower than in the rest of England.
Marcus Jones, author of the report and Researchellow at IPPR North, said: “Of all the developed economies around the world, ours are the most regionally divided and getting worse – the North is at the sharp end of these divides and this is an impediment to prosperity.
But what is unacceptable is that our country is divided by design. It is the result of decisions.
The strengths of the North are the strengths of the nation
“The strengths of the North are national strengths. Northern prosperity can be national prosperity. It is up to government to unlock this potential, by recognizing the need for change, and by empowering local government with sufficient powers and resources to coordinate and deliver long-term local visions for change.”
The report points to other unstable places in the world that have transformed their economies, such as Leipzig in Germany, which has become the fastest growing city in Europe through industry and investment.
“The international evidence is clear: governments that relinquish power and engage positively with local venues can succeed in raising the bar…” said Zoe Bellingham, Director of IPPR North Painful divisions. We know that private investment follows public investment.”
Last week, the government faced accusations of favoring the relatively wealthy southeastern seats in the allocation of the latest round of funding settlement at the expense of the disadvantaged northern regions.
A government spokesperson said: “This report fundamentally misrepresents the clear steps we are taking to raise the bar for the region and we are committed to spreading opportunities across the UK, including in the north of England.
This includes investing £3.19 billion by scaling up our own funds for regeneration, transport and cultural projects and £3 billion to transform local transport networks. The government has also helped secure inward investment, such as Credera in Manchester, Nissan in Sunderland and Equinor in Port Tyne, creating thousands of high-skilled jobs.
“We have also launchedreeports in Teesside, Liverpool City and the Humber to drive investment and have signed new transfer deals in York, North Yorkshire and the North East, giving more authority to local leaders.”