UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Austerity is widening the North South Divide

A recent Economist article highlighted the economic and social inequalities between Britain's regions. Although rooted in post-war deindustrialisation, the process is being compounded by austerity cuts in public spending. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, estimates that local authorities in the North must cut their spending by around 12%, compared with just 4.6% in the South East. IPPR, another think-tank, estimates that 86% of the government’s spending on big transport projects is in London.

Yesterday's Work Foundation report People or Place? Urban policy in the age of austerity raises concerns that 'for the first time in over 40 years, the UK is without any national programme aimed at regenerating the most deprived communities. Government spending on regeneration was halved in 2011/12 and incentives such as Business Rates Retention and TIF are likely to support growth mainly in already successful areas. Combined with a lack of funding and powers for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), this risks a ‘winner takes all effect’ that will widen the gap between regions'