UK one of the most divided countries in Europe, study warns

The UK is one of the most economically divided countries in the modern world, with stark differences between different regions, according to a new study.

The IPPR North’s State of the North 2019 report claims that in areas like health, jobs, disposable income and productivity, only countries like Romania and South Korea are more divided.

In terms of how health varies in different parts of the country, the report notes that places like Blackpool, Manchester and Hull have mortality rates worse than parts of Turkey, Slovakia and Romania.

The report also warns that where people live in the UK makes a big difference to opportunities for work.

According to the report, the job creation rate is far higher in London and the South East than any other part of the UK, while in other countries like Germany and France job creation is more evenly spread.

And the report adds that the regional variation in disposable income is larger than any comparable country and has increased over the last ten years.

In Kensington and Chelsea Hammersmith and Fulham, the average disposable income per person is £48,000 higher than in Blackburn with Darwen, Nottingham and Leicester.

But the report also recognises that parts of the North have created large numbers of jobs.

Greater Manchester has 161,000 more jobs than it did in 2010, while West Yorkshire, Sheffield City Region and Liverpool City Region each have 60-80,000 more jobs too.
‘It is no surprise that people across the country feel so disempowered,’ said report author, Luke Raikes.

‘Both political and economic power are hoarded by a handful of people in London and the South East and this has damaged all parts of the country, from Newcastle to Newham.

‘Low investment holds back regions like the North, Midlands and South West, while centralisation has let London’s housing crisis drive up poverty in the capital.

‘All our regions’ economies have been held back by centralisation – but they’re interdependent too and we can no longer ignore that. All our regions need devolution to be empowered, and to work together. This must be a top priority for the next government,’ added Mr Raikes.

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart


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