Labour’s north-south divide

London’s economy is growing twice as quickly as North and west. The South-east is also a relative hot spot.

Labour began by wanting to even things up, but now they want to bulldoze the surplus houses in the North, whilst concreting over the south. Instead they should ask themselves what is making?? London and the South-east so much more successful.

It’s not the fact that London has an elected Mayor. He is part of the problem, not the solution. His Congestion Charge has burdened Londoners with enormous bureaucracy, and has priced the lower paid off the roads. Far from making London a more inviting place to live in and do business, it makes our city the most spied on??area in the world.

What has worked in London is the financial service industry.?? It has attracted much of the talent coming out of UK universities. It has welcomed in skilled people and capital from all round the world. They have been nimble at finding new ways of doing business outside the grip of the ever tightening regulation.

This has been supplemented by offering favourable tax status to rich people from abroad who want to spend some of the year in London. That has been very beneficial, helping build the large financial area with their cash and contacts.

London and the south-east gives us the formula for success – combine well educated people with an openness to foreign?? capital, and you can grow quickly. Other parts of Labour’s Britain base their hopes on public sector activity, and ever higher taxes. That does not work.

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One Comment

  1. Kit
    Posted January 23, 2007 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Don't forget the minimum wage. The north cannot compete against the south by providing cheaper labour.

  • 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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