Labour complains about where the growth comes in the UK

 

                It is good news that the UK economy is growing again at a decent pace. It remains true that London and the South-east are growing faster than the rest of the country.

               Labour complain about this. Reading the Guardian they seem to think success in London and the south-east is a bad thing. What they and Labour need to do is to study why and how London has done so much better than the rest of the country. They need to ask themselves why was this true when Labour was in power for 13 years, dedicated to spreading the growth  and prosperity more widely around the country. They can of course also ask why hasn’t the Coalition succeeded in  changing this trend so far, despite wanting to?

              I start from the proposition that it is good news that a big part of the country is working better. I do not want to damage that by taxing it more or undermining it in other ways. We need to learn from it so the rest of the country can do as well or better. We need to see London’s success as a strength for the rest of the country, not a problem. London’s taxes are certainly needed to sustain the levels of state spending elsewhere.

                 London demonstrates that you can create a virtuous circle. London wages and salaries are on average higher than the rest of the country. London creates more and better paid private sector jobs than many other parts of the country. London attracts and retains a lot of talent, capital and business from around the world.

                 As the world ‘s growth is dominated by cities, the UK needs to have a similar success in some of its other cities to that experienced in London. Manchester or Leeds or Birmingham have the scope to be faster growing world class cities that can too attract their share of wealth, talent and business from overseas, and draw in more home grown talent and enterprise. They need bigger private sectors to reduce their reliance on the public sector.

                The Guardian complains that London has received the Crossrail investment from the public sector. It was not the decision to build Crossrail that made London successful. It was a necessary catch up investment to cope with all the extra people and work journeys that London is generating. If other great cities in the UK are attracting similar volumes of additional travel, they too should have extra transport capacity. London is still a net contributor to the UK coffers, with a much lower public spend per head than that enjoyed by other regions.

              Tomorrow I will look at what other changes to public policy could help other great UK cities to grow as quickly as London. The changes needed are ones that are friendly to the private sector. Building a bigger and more expensive public sector in these cities has been tried but has not achieved the results wanted.

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80 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    London has the advantage of having lots of non doms. The UK is one of the best tax havens available, so long as you are not British, you can just pay £30,000 or £50,000 (depending on your period or residence) and then no tax on your non UK income.

    Let us try a cap at £50k for UK residents too. It is after all more that five times what the government needs to run efficiently.

    The UK still has a few competitive advantages like being a relatively pleasant and safe place for people to live. We have to decrease taxes, get rid of the endless absurd regulations, build more roads and runways and halve the size of the largely malignant, state sector and stop paying healthy people to do nothing at all.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      The Tory on any questions (Matt Hancock? I think ) seemed to think getting one million people to put daft PV panels on their roofs is good for cheap energy. Cheap in the sense of being over four times the going rate and with tax advantages too. All paid for by taxpayers and consumers.

      How on Earth does energy, at over four times the going rate, help anyone with cheap energy? Is it a huge misdirection of capital to put shiny, white elephant nonsense on one million peoples roofs – we all have to pay for this pointless, idiotic nonsense.

      • Hope
        Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        The main growth comes from the building sector, 2.5 percent. We have the ludicrous Boles reported as saying that more green belt sites must be built on for the housing needs of the old and immigrants. No we do not. We need to control immigration and stop artificially inflating the population growth that leads to a lot more elderly people. Those who have not paid their 30 years NI will not be left not the street. They will end up in the same care home as those who are forced to sell their homes to pay for their care. Worse than communism. At least all have to work and contribute. With wind farms, housing and HS2 will any countryside be left? Who wants to go on holiday and look out othe sea to look at wind machines on the horizon! Also reported how the loss of homes, jobs and business was hidden to prevent negative comments about HS2. I would be interested to know if this is correct.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          “Who wants to go on holiday and look out to sea to look at wind machines on the horizon!”

          Indeed.

          Especially when the know that they do not work in economic terms, and they as tax payers and electricity buyers have been forced to pay for all this economic lunacy by Labour, Libdems, Tories, BBC propaganda and the EU.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted October 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        The problem that we have is that the government believes that subsidies are necessary to persuade people to install solar panels. A simple change in planning law that required all new builds or major changes of houses in the top council tax brackets to include solar panels without any subsidies would be equally effective. Rather than being a burden on the general tax payer the cost would be diverted to those who can afford it.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Solar power with current technology, the UK’s lack of sun and its intermittent nature simply make no sense whatsoever (without absurd subsidies), just do the sums. If you subsidise people to do it or force them to do it you are just making everyone poorer and electricity more expensive. They should do neither.

          Putting PV panels on roofs is even dafter (more expensive to install and maintain) than putting them in fields. When/if the technology is ever cheap enough to make sense lets look at it then. Currently it cost about 4 times the current cost of electricity and (as it is intermittent and unreliable) it is worth far less than these current costs anyway.

      • stred
        Posted October 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        current EPCs show suggested improvements, costs and savings in consumption. Surprisingly, PV comes top at about 4%pa, with wall insulation much lower. PV costs vary wildly and wall insulation is much more expensive than it need be, as the advisors have taken the line that thick solid insulation is best. Building Control surveyors frown on alternative mutifoil systems. Both solid and mutifoil is useless if not intalled properly.

        PV is only better due to the subsidy and is much less cost effective in energy saving than insulation. How can they get things so back to front?

        • alan jutson
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          stred

          Agreed, better to save what you have, rather than lose what you make.

          Sensible insulation is the most cost effective means to keeping warm and using less power.

          The problem insulation has, is that it is not a vanity product, it is not on show and is rather dull and boring in most peoples minds.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Non doms buying up property to hoard wealth lie holiday homes, but turbo charged is not good. Everyone paying 50k max is great if you are rich but what if you do not even earn 50k? You are to subsidise multi millionaires or have less infrastructure and security? How is a health service supposed to be paid for? By expensive insurance from small wages? As for solar panels. The cost is going down, but nuclear costs are going up and need further massive subsidies from the taxpayer and user. Silly apologist propaganda fantasy as per.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        If you are paying £50K in tax you are already paying about 5 times what the government spends per head, how on earth is that a subsidy for the rich?

        • Bazman
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Who would make up for the shortfall and who would suffer. There would be no shortfall?

    • StevenL
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      London’s main industry (financial services) is largely VAT exempt too. If banking and securities businesses were subject to a 20% gross profits tax, or if VAT was abolished, growth might not be so biased toward London.

      • Ralph Musgrave
        Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Plus banking is subsidised. So removing those subsidies would also reduce the “bias towards London”.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

        Steven–Except that kicking London, first, amounts to reducing one of our biggest sources of Revenue and, secondly, will do nothing to help the rest of the Country, rather the opposite I should have thought, if anything.

    • chris S
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like a good basis of the next Conservative manifesto !

      Add a move to a Flat Tax regime and we’re there.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Er Lifelogic

      If its NON UK income then of course you don’t pay income tax on it here you pay tax on it where you earned it !!!

      What is this £30 -£50 k and what taxes are we talking about? Do non doms not have gas and electric? Do they not pay VAT , council tax? Stamp duty? fuel duty, road tax, TV licence, etc etc

      The taxes that non doms don’t pay are on income and capital gains on overseas earnings.

  2. Arschloch
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Any basic economics textbook that I have read has defined a “depression” as being a period of continued sub-trend growth, so keep in mind one swallow does not make a spring! You also need to remember that London does provide all the goodies that you describe. However in effect its mostly a place where only the very rich and very poor can live. Despite claiming to be a member of the “sharp elbowed middle class” and not “lah-di-dah”or “airy fairy”, your leader does not half like to tax it to death e.g. removing child benefit, no new married man’s tax allowance and best of all non stop QE to destroy the purchasing power of their stagnant or declining salaries.

  3. Stewart Knight
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Labour and the Guardian are complaining because of growth in general John; London is just the catalyst for this complaint.

    Labour and the Guardian will continue to complain and would be happiest if the country slipped back into deep depression and the people suffered as this is a vote winner for them; they care nothing for the people or the country but their own tribal and ideological well being.

    This is a fact and this is the message that you and others should make plain as we try and ensure the country continues to prosper as a whole and not just socialists and their pet projects. Keep Labour out for good, and the regions will follow London as we dismantle Labours client welfare and public sector employment dependency culture and infrastructure….because what is Labour without that welfare and public sector dependency?

    • Arschloch
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      What’s wrong with “The Guardian”? I bet Mr Cameron even has it delivered! Its agenda is his agenda. Where else can he get non stop coverage of the benefits of same sex marriage, Keynesian economics, paying people to do nothing, foreign aid etc?

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Where else can he get non stop coverage of the benefits of same sex marriage, Keynesian economics, paying people to do nothing, foreign aid etc?

        Easy – on the BBC of course, and often from the same Polly Toynbee types – and with pro EU bias and quack warming “proven science” exaggerations and pro uncontrolled immigration all thrown in too.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Mr Knight – Where there is no welfare and public sector dependency Labour seeks to create it. What is Labour without struggle and ‘poverty’ ? The last thing it wants is a healthy, wealthy and happy society.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      The problem is that the country isn’t prospering as a whole, only London and the South East are prospering.

      The public sector is so strong in the north of England because the private sector refuses to create any jobs that pay a decent wage in these regions. So if you reduce the public sector all you’ll be left with is very high levels of unemployment and a lot of people who will dislike the Conservatives for making them all unemployed.

      Also the Conservatives tried reducing public sector jobs and all they got was low growth for 3 years and far fewer private sector jobs than predicted.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5

        You just make it up as you go along.

        One of the 3 main banks bailed out by the socialist government is HQ’d where?

        One of the biggest mortgage banks bailed out by the socialist government is HQ’d where ?

        The biggest independent Software business in the UK is based where?

        One of the most successful car plants in the UK is based where

        Which global sportswear brand UK HQ is in Manchester?
        The worlds 6th largest Pharma company is HQ’d in which NW City?

        The Co-OP bank is HQ’d where?

        Which global supermarket chain has its UK HQ based in Leeds?

        Which leading European brewer has HQ in Leeds?

        The NE has 63,660 SME’s
        Yorkshire & Humber have the most high growth SME’s outside London

        True only 3 thats THREE banks are HQ’d in Leeds

        Teeside is home to many chemical businesses including Huntsman Tioxide, Mathey Catalysts & Fujifilm Dyosynth Biologics.

        Mitsubishi Battery, Conoco Philips Exwold Technology, Tata Steel Marlow Foods and McCoys crips are just some of the private companies operating on Teeside

        Findus, Greggs, Offshore Group, BAE systems Tetley Tea and Santander Mortgage are ALL based in Newcastle

        You and your mate Bazman just spout drivel. Why don’t you go and get a job and make a contribution to society rather than just take?

        • Bazman
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          As pointed out to you before I have a full time job. Why are you repeating that I do not work? I work 40 – 50 hours a week in the metal trade. Not an easy way to make a living. Desk jockeys like yourself would not last the morning.
          The main point is that corporate dominance is causing wealth extraction in the North East. Most products sold in the North East by major corporations are made elsewhere, stored in distribution hubs and transported across the country. This means that hundreds of pounds spent by each North East household on essential items alone leaves the region each week. Can’t escape this as most of the jobs they provide are low paid as uanime5 says. Ask any average North Easterner if they earn your fantasy average 26k? LOL! Ram it.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Trouble is Baz what you claim as your job keeps changing. 1 minute you tell us you work 50 hours a week metal bashing ( incidentally an industry that actually pays well in most parts of the country) and then last week you claimed to be a sub contractor.

            Old son I’ve done more manual labour and factory work than you ever will.

            I guess you didn’t bother to read the list of some of the private firms paying good wages employing 1,000’s of people in North East.

            Just at random here’s a metal bashing job in Newcastle paying £30,000 pa. I found loads more but give you this as one example

            http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/assembly-and-test-fitter/23782205#/jobs/engineering/newcastle-upon-tyne

            You spout made up drivel

          • Bazman
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Many metalworkers are sub contractors. What is the mystery about that? The pay depends on a number of factors least not where you live and skill levels.
            This is not a job but an agency advertising for a job which may or may not exist. Often these agencies are on name and CV collecting exercises, they seem to have hundreds of jobs, but are often just trying to place people with companies that are always looking, always looking…My wife works for one of these ‘looking’ companies. Revolving door no less. Both are just fishing. Are you going to show us sales jobs that pay 50 -100k commission and tell us how many there are? Just stupid.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Do tell us what you plan to disassemble welfare and work provided by the state to private companies? This will make sure we proper as a whole and not just an ever increasing elite? This must be some sort of right wing speak.

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Here in Wisbech, we are living at the very outer rim of London. Go South, and immediately we get improvement as the commuter railways cut in. Go North and we are back in the 1980s! To the East and West, Peterborough and Kings Lynn are both on the railways to London, so there is relative prosperity.

    The government could do so much! But its hands are tied by Brussels, by idiotic energy policy stretching back for decades and by an “electorate” that, frankly, seems uninterested, immoral and largely foreign!

  5. Andyvan
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Still politicians think they alone have the wisdom and power to control economies. In reality the best, and only, thing they can do to improve things is to stop making them worse.

  6. Gary
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The Tories just injected £136bn new debt into the financial system with HTB. The South East is the financial system. This is another bank bailout, and the banks are in London. There is some residual wealth effect and house construction boom, and once again the house is being used as an ATM to dispense cash to buy baubles.

    The last drunken party collapsed because the credit card maxed out, a new credit card has been issued.

    RBS has its HQ in Scotland and N0rthern Rock in Newcastle – they needed the big bail outs, not the London banks.

    • stred
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Developers are currently advertising expensive waterside properties with low deposits and help via HTB. Just the job for the first time buyers who could not afford to own their own home previously. Up to £600k!

  7. alan jutson
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    As a place London is more expensive to live within.

    It has higher house prices and therefore stamp duty to pay.
    Higher rents.
    Higher house maintainace costs (cost of labour)
    Higher food prices in supermarkets (a known fact as they charge what the area will stand).
    Higher resturant prices (even the national chains charge more for the same set meal)
    Higher car park charges
    Higher wages for some, which means higher taxes, so less desposable income in percentage terms.
    Higher transport costs, as people travel further to work there.
    Dense population
    Hassel of car parking outside your own home.(space yellow lines)

    So why is London more successsful than other areas, given that anyone who works for the Government is on a National wage, living in areas which are much less expensive, or could that be the problem.
    Could it be that local businesses cannot compete with the government on wages.
    Thus perhaps the well intentioned social engineering policy, is actually working against local economies.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Given the levels of unemployment in many of the northern parts of the UK the private sector must have some pretty appalling wages and conditions if they can’t convince anyone to work for them.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Uni5

        Or Perhaps they get so much in Benefits they simply do not want to work.

        I really do wonder what exactly it is that you do to earn a living given you are so negative on absolutely anything.

        Just remember the State has no money, it only gets it from taxation, not a money tree..

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Maybe the Guardian should practice what they preach and relocate all their staff back to Manchester where the newspaper originated.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Handy for them too as they can hope back and forth to talk the same drivel at the new BBC HQ in Salford.

  9. libertarian
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    One really obvious way to help the Midlands and the North become even more attractive ( the way Labour and Guardian talk you would think that nothing happens in the North of England) is to expand regional airports rather than London. Why keep bringing all the traffic to London. The very people who complain about the South East are the people who demand HS2 …. wake up people why keep shipping everyone to London. Rather than add airport capacity to Heathrow why not take away unnecessary traffic. How about developing Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford Newcastle airports as regional hubs. This would be cheaper, far more effective better for travellers and would ease over congestion in the South East

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      No one sensible and honest would demand HS2, let us hope Labour kill it as now looks likely. Cameron clearly seems not to have the sense to it now and save some more millions. Like anth. global warming, PV, wind, electric cars the EU, tax borrow and waste, QE and all the other tosh, he has clearly invested too much of his reputation (such as remains) in pushing this drivel. Thus he is now unable turn round to common sense engineering and economics.

      He was however very keen to rat on his cast iron EU promise and IHT thresholds.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      libertarian–Except that London (“the Capital of the World”) is where people want to go–try telling the average American that he should go to Leeds/Bradford.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Leslie.

        Of course but why not try reading what I put? The People in Yorkshire and beyond also want to travel why send them to London? Why not travel locally.

        By the way how many American car executives want to visit their factories in London ? How many Toyota executives want to visit their factories in London ?

        I wasn’t talking about inward tourism ( although with the right marketing I’m sure loads of Americans would fly in to East Midlands airport to visit The home of the bard, Warwick castle etc etc) . I was talking local economy and removing the congestion in London. I’m sure you can work out if you stop vast numbers of British people having to go through London airports to get anywhere it would increase capacity for London visitors from overseas

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          libertarian–I rather suspect I have more experience of visiting Americans. They all want a night or two minimum in London to go to the theatre, plus, chances are, lunch very likely with both their Clearing bank and the London Branch of their American bank, plus a visit, at least, to their British lawyers and their tailors etc maybe whizzing up to the plant and back before dinner at say the Savoy before flying home….from Heathrow of course. Not to mention staying in the best London hotel. No kudos anywhere else.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            Leslie

            You may well have more experience of visiting Americans, maybe you could ask one of them to read my post to you. I’ve told you twice now that my post made no reference to Americans visiting the UK. My rationale and what I put in the post you didn’t bother to read is that expanding regional airports will help the people who live in the regions to travel WITHOUT having to come to London. Now how difficult is that to understand?????

            In my second post which you equally didn’t bother to read I told you that one of the benefits of moving local ( that’s LOCAL ) traffic from London is to free up more capacity for the 1,000’s of Americans you know who come to London.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Agree.

      Glasgow is a good location for a hub airport because it is on the great circle route to North America.

  10. A different Simon
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I happen to think Osborne is one of the few ministers with any sense even if he has no experience . His instinct about strengthening relationships with China is spot on .

    However , last week your Govt handed the keys to UK nuclear using previous generation reactor designs and the i.p. for the whole grid over to the the Chinese just so the City of London would be selected as one of the markets to deal in the RMB .

    By doing so you’ve saddled the country for 20 years with guaranteed electricity prices which are twice the current average and which are more expensive even that offshore wind and every other “renewable” except wood chips .

    So much of the potential benefit of shale gas will be cancelled out by guaranteed prices for nuclear and renewables which are predicated on rising fuel costs .

    This goes to show the amount of collateral damage Westminster and Whitehall are happy to inflict on the UK in their efforts to subsidise London .

    • forthurst
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      “However , last week your Govt handed the keys to UK nuclear using previous generation reactor designs and the i.p. for the whole grid over to the the Chinese just so the City of London would be selected as one of the markets to deal in the RMB .”

      The National Grid is a private company; are you suggesting its intellectual property was not privatised with it? The deal is pretty awful as you suggest, but par for the course for geniuses with PPE degrees and their Arts degreed civil service advisors. I doubt whether they realised they were buying obsolete technology and paying through the nose for it. The Chinese would have selected London anyhow as a hub for renmimbi exchange because of its position and global importance if they wish to move to a fully convertible currency to take over from the private secret bankster-owned confetti-money printing facility.

  11. Bert Young
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    If you drop a pebble into a pond the ripples spread . The tentacles of the wealth that London attracts has a profound effect right across the country and benefits the income and well-being of every citizen ; this is an undeniable fact . London has the advantages and disadvantages of being an international city ; 18 months ago when my wife and small daughter visited London zoo we parked our car on the outskirts near Uxbridge and travelled by tube to Baker Street where I once had a flat for almost 20 years . During this journey and the time we spent there , I heard very little English spoken and felt very out of place – it was like being in a foreign country . The ripples of this “foreign” invasion were good in the sense that the city continues to attract interest from far and wide , but bad in the sense that ” Englandish ” was in decline ; we were glad to return home afterwards . Being ” international ” is good for business and commerce ; I trust it will not be at the expense of traditional British values .

    • uanime5
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Given that only the South East seems to be benefiting from London’s tentacles if seems these tentacles are very short.

  12. Gary
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    We have entered the inevitable phase of economic insanity, where after we have printed sack loads of money for years, energy costs are rising. Among many other staple costs rising. So, what do the Chattering (politicians ed) do ? They start a witch-hunt at the energy companies ! Someone take these blithering idiots by the hand and lead them to the root of the problem : govt borrowing facilitated by central bank led inflation without end.

    I give up. We live in a kleptocracy managed by (questionable people), liars and the incompetent.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see much of a witch hunt. Would this be like banker bashing which according to the Tories is the only drawback of Himalayan subsidies to the banking industry?

  13. Bazman
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Another side to this story capitalist comrades.
    North East England has been “pillaged” by big firms sucking wealth out of the region, a
    report claims.Critics, including Prime Minister David Cameron, have pointed to the area’s dependence on the public sector.But a study by the High Pay Centre says much of the money people spend in the region goes to firms in the South East.
    Just five of Britain’s 350 biggest companies are in the North East and the problem is made worse by the high number of national chain stores and utility firms.
    Deborah Hargreaves, High Pay Centre’s director, said: “The story goes that people in the North contribute less to the economy and rely on public-sector jobs.
    “But the reality is that the North is being pillaged.”

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Have we’ve got 350 large companies left ?

      Expect upwards of 300 of them are global financial companies with perhaps a tenth providing quality socially useful services .

      They want the “developing countries” they invest in to succeed at the expense of those they don’t and they don’t invest in the UK .

      Time to move Parliament out of the London .

      • libertarian
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        a Dif Simon

        There are 6,000 large businesses in the UK

        There are 30,000 Medium businesses in the UK

        There are 4.8 million Small businesses in UK

        There are just over 2 million people employed in UK finance sector

    • libertarian
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      baz

      Link? Evidence? Thought not. Total c*ap

      • Bazman
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Are you incapable of using Google?

        • libertarian
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Baz

          I do it all the time, its why its so easy to prove you wrong on just about everything you post

    • Edward2
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      When did the North have all this wealth to pillage Baz?
      Presumably carefully placed in the boots of toffs Bentleys quietly taken to London and sold to purchase champagne and grouse.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Usual simple thoughts edward. Take a look and learn something about your trickle down fantasy.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          The article which you claim supports the North’s wealth was pillaged by the South is a total nonsense.
          Huge sums have been spent in the other direction.
          Take care those in the South don’t feel its a waste of their money.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Huge sums have been spent on the north east and this is one of the reasons why. Not a good place in the early 90’s when I was there, better now and not because of private enterprise which is a pity. I fled to wealthy Cambridgeshire, or wealthy for most, though if you live in the real world can see much hardship. See your popular local weekend music pub for details. Plenty of jobs though, unlike the north. Ram it.

  14. ralphmalph
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    First off they need to get over the image problems that they have. If you think of London you immediately think world leading finance. When you think of Cambridge you think high tech.

    When you think of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle a person can not think of one area of business where they are world leading.

    Birmingham and the associated West Midlands should shout from the rooftops about the car manufacturing in the area.

    Manchester should leverage the BBC move there and promote and create media interests even if this means that the Govt make the BBC spend 90% of its production budget in the North West to create a hub of media business their.

    The other Northern cities need to do the same.

    As long as the councils in these cities wallow in the self pity that it is all Thatchers fault then there is no hope for them to attract talented people and businesses.

    They also need to link further education to the areas business. For example Warwick University is world renound for producing graduates for the car industry. Is it any surprise that 90% of the Formula 1 industry is close by?

    In my area Gloucestershire we have a higher than average proportion of high tech manufacturing that the national average. Hence a requirement for all levels of engineering and technical skills. The local Uni Gloucester does not offer any enginerring courses, you can do every “New Labour” course under the sun but a course that the local businesses need, no chance.

  15. yulwaymartyn
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Actually if you had listened to the World at One yesterday it was reported by an economics think tank that the North West is the fastest growing sector and that the North East is the slowest.

    Nothing to do with the Guardian which is a newspaper and not a government department.

    The london issue and ludicrous housing market in London is partly due to the Tory government subsidising the private property market.

    I should know. I have been informed this week that my London house has apparently increased in value by £120,000 in ONE month. This on the day that we allow the Chinese and French to build our nuclear power stations because the country has no money.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      martyn

      What on earth has the value of your pad in Camden got to do with the Treasury having spent all our money over the last 20 years?

      Property prices in London are high for one reason and one reason only DEMAND outstrips supply. Thats it. Its about location and you should know this being as you work in the construction industries

      I just went on Right Move and found 11 pages of 3 bedroom houses in London priced at between £150k and £250K

      I’m really fed up reading the total bull spouted by lefties about this. It takes no effort to check

  16. Dennis
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    life logic says,” so long as you are not British, you can just pay £30,000 or £50,000 (depending on your period or residence) and then no tax on your non UK income.”

    Surely anyone having non UK income is not taxed here on it – am I wrong?

    Also I note that Mr Redwood still does not understand what the fundamental source of economic growth/wealth is so his pronouncements on economics are valueless.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes you are wrong you pay tax on all your worldwide income and gains, but you may get an offset of any tax already paid depending on tax treaties if any in place with the countries concerned.

      So you end up paying the higher tax net at least. Unless you take and nondom option if you are able to, broadly not of British origins.

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I think it’s a mistake to regard labour as the opposition you should be addressing. The main opposition party is “none of the above”.

    I am a little weary of politicians talking up the economy this week when there is much evidence to the contrary in front of me every day. Who do they all think they are kidding?

    Realism is what we need in touch with the views of the decent majority of the British people.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    While it is true that cities provide the core growth, for a country like the UK it is not the whole story. The development and evolution of clusters of related businesses as centres of knowhow and excellence, able to compete globally, is as important to a better balanced economy.

  19. oldtimer
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink
    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      “The insane system to promote renewable energy sources ensures that, with each new rooftop solar panel and each additional wind turbine, more coal is automatically burned and more CO2 released into the atmosphere.”

      “These allowances are regrettably not discarded, but are instead sold and used elsewhere to offset pollution by the Spanish cement industry, Polish lignite plants and German steel mills, for example. All of the wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, hydroelectric and biogas plants in Germany have not reduced CO2 emissions in Europe by a single gram.”

      Interesting.

      Also interesting is this Reuters article from Thursday evening, about the UK government pressing the EU to adopt and impose even more stringent limits on carbon dioxide emissions than the EU Commission has been contemplating:

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/uk-eu-britain-carbon-idUKBRE99N0NA20131024

      • stred
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Anyone know who gets the carbon allowance to sell to dirty foreign emitters? If it is the energy company, this appears to pong somewhat. There was no mention of the customer receiving carbon credits in the sales talk from PV firms.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Can we stop talking about a ‘north, south divide’ please ?

    There is a divide between London and just about everywhere else.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

  21. Bill
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Difficult to see Labour’s complaints as anything but politically motivated noise to keep their support base happy. There is nothing constructive here at all.

  22. Julian
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    ‘Regional Policy’ needs to recognise that some areas on the up and should attract investment, others are dipping and need recovery and some are too far gone and should be the subject of ‘managed decline’. We need an alternative to London in the North that can help act as a catalyst to galvanise the UK north of Oxford.

  23. stred
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    One wonders how much GDP growth may be due to the public sector expenditure on useless schemes, many of which use foreign materials and may not work.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    So are we back to Labour seeking to consolidate support in its supposed heartlands by complaining about the “north south divide”?

    Which Blair actually admitted was nowhere as simple as that, some time after he became Prime Minister, and which Labour failed to address while in office, preferring to take the easier option of allowing and encouraging over-development in the south east corner of the island and then using the extra tax revenues raised there to subsidise higher public spending in other parts of England, and Wales, and Northern Ireland?

  25. uanime5
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    What they and Labour need to do is to study why and how London has done so much better than the rest of the country.

    London’s main advantage is that it’s the capital of the UK, which allows it to attract businesses in a way that other regions cannot (which is why in most countries the capital is also the largest city). Other advantages are good transportation routes to all nearby regions, nearby airports, and museums and historic buildings to attract tourists.

    The South east is also doing better than most other regions because it’s close to London.

    We need to see London’s success as a strength for the rest of the country, not a problem.

    If London’s success is mainly occurring because it’s sucking revenue and talent from other UK regions then London’s success may not be good for the rest of the country.

    London wages and salaries are on average higher than the rest of the country. London creates more and better paid private sector jobs than many other parts of the country.

    People in London tend to get higher wages because property prices and the cost of living are higher. In many cases because the property prices and cost of living in London are higher than the extra income earned by working in London people are worse off than if they were working in a lower paid job in a cheaper location.

    Tomorrow I will look at what other changes to public policy could help other great UK cities to grow as quickly as London. The changes needed are ones that are friendly to the private sector.

    Will these changes only apply to cities other than London? If not how will you ensure that these changes don’t just result in more private sector companies going to London, rather than other major UK cities?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      uanime5

      If London is sucking the talent out of the rest of the country why are you in favour of spending £50 billion to suck more of them out of the midlands and north 20 minutes quicker. Surely if you believe what you write you should be against HS2 and for investing the £50 billion in the Midlands and Norths local economies ?

      If people are worse off living and working in London you would have to wonder why more of them just don’t move out to cheaper better places to live and work, why do you think they don’t ?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Statements of the obvious but missing any semblance of any solutions Uni.

  26. Mark
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    London does benefit from the highest government spending per head after Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales according to PESA data. Since it is so prosperous, it should make do with less, and leave more for deprived parts of England.

  27. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    We could begin with rewriting history and place the royal family in the capital city Manchester, then we could place the ,mills in the south and export cotton from the Thames. We could magic and exchange past opulence and historical interest so that the super rich would invest in our central UK capital.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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