Despite cynicism from people of all political persuasions, George Osborne has, since helping to steer the Conservatives to their first majority win in 22 years, reaffirmed his commitment to devolution. However, like a lot of policies championed by Osborne, it is built upon unstable foundations. Ageing populations present a significant policy challenge to governments the world over, most infamously in Japan, but it offers a problem at the sub-national level as well, to the detriment of the current government’s devolution drive. The cost of looking after elderly populations, as we all know, is high and rising; a problem that is not going to be fixed soon. This cost, however, is looking likely to be pushed further down the political food chain, while the money necessary to fund this challenge is not being devolved alongside it. The flagship devolution program is Manchester, the heart of the chancellor’s ‘northern powerhouse’ and the … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Dan Holden is a freelance journalist and researcher for the Smith Institute.
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