Spreading prosperity more widely in the UK

One of the central themes of the Conservative Manifesto is to promote growth and prosperity more widely around the UK. This is an aim I strongly support. This week the ONS brought out some figures to remind us just how much needs to be done to generate more income and wealth in large parts of our country. The ONS calculated tax revenue per head by region, and public expenditure per head by region.

The figures revealed that the UK’s single currency area is also an important transfer union, switching large sums collected in taxation from the richer areas to the lower income areas through higher levels of spending. London topped the lists for tax revenue per person, contributing £15,756 per head. The South East provided £12 449, and the East of England £10,833. At the other end of the revenue table was Wales at £7986 per person, the North East at £8200 and Northern Ireland at £8581.

On the expenditure side The South East was bottom at £10582 per head, with the East of England a close second at £10592. The highest spending per head was in Northern Ireland at £14018, and second Scotland at £13054. London at £12 686 was relatively high, but London still contributed the largest amount net to the rest of the country owing to its very high levels of tax contribution. Only three regions put in more revenue than they took out in spending, London, the South East and the East of England.

The Scottish figures in the past when they have been calculated have been the subject of some controversy, as you could either allocate most of the oil revenue to Scotland, or allocate it according to population on the grounds that it is a national resource for the UK. Last year, the year for these figures, it makes no difference how you do it as there was no North Sea revenue.

I draw several conclusions from this. The first is you do need large transfers of money in a currency union to make it work. The absence of these transfers in the Euro area lies behind the rolling Euro crisis we have seen in recent years as the zone struggles to find ways to send the surplus from the rich areas to the rest of the Union.

The second is the gap between London and the rest is high. We need to help bring the others up by adopting policies that promote more enterprise and new business in the lower income areas.

The third is transfers help balance things up, but they do not in themselves correct the longer term imbalances which stem from too little successful private sector business in the lower income areas. It is that issue which education, training, transport, planning and other policies need to address to encourage more businesses to expand their provision in the areas away from London.

Successful modern cities are particularly good at attracting or producing well educated and highly trained people, and linking them up with entrepreneurs. Cities like Oxford and Cambridge are showing the way outside London. This raises the average income which creates demand and jobs across the spectrum of economic activity.
Published and promoted by Fraser Mc Farland on behalf of John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1 XU


  1. Lifelogic
    May 27, 2017

    I too want policies that promote growth and prosperity more widely around the UK. The Tory manifesto (May’s socialist light immitation of Miliband’s tomb stone) is however largely anti-business, it indicates yet more tax increase, more state interventions, bonkers prices and income policies, more workers “rights”, fewer benefits and more expensive greencrap energy. It is hugely misguided.

    We actually need less government, easy hire and fire, more freedoms, fewer planning laws, fewer building control regulations, far less red tape, functional banks, no gender equality reporting, lower taxes & some cheaper energy. The government is as usual the problem not the solution. May’s agenda is very foolish indeed but not quite as bad as Corbyn’s.

    1. Hope
      May 27, 2017

      JR, growth and prosperity! Punishing the young by increased tuition fees giving them a life of debt, while giving away billions and providing free tuition to foreigners, our competitors and punishing the old while providing free care for foreigners! Cone on, stop it. You know what you are saying and what is in your left wing manifesto is nothing of the sort. You are making the rest up, your manifesto is a “statement of intent”, no firm commitment whatsoever towards taxes or taxation. Osborne claimed he ha don plan to change VAT, what did he do straight after being elected? He claimed to eliminate the structural deficit by 2015, your party now claims 2025 . Ten years after the first promise! Over 300 tax rises through stealth. Or el aims to reduce immigration to tens of thousands when May presided over the most amount of immigration on record! Cheap Labour for companies at the expense of the taxpayer. Or surprisingly correlating with the areas you highlight. At what cost to us as a country? To our culture? Cost to social cohesion? Detriment of public services and to build over our beautiful country like we have never seen before, building new urban cities without the money to provide infrastructure. JR, be realistic and honest with the public what your party has actually done and is doing.

  2. Lifelogic
    May 27, 2017

    Corbyn yesterday in the aftermath of Manchester said of the police, the NHS and our security forces that they “never let us down”. He seems to think the state can run almost everything well, when all the evidence or history suggest they have trouble running anything efficiently at all. He would have dire state monopolies all over the place.

    While there are indeed many excellent and diligent people working hard in these sectors they certainly do let us down and all the time. The government sector, in general, has an appalling record of waste, corruption, cover ups, neglect and gross incompetence. Thousands are killed by negligence, incompetence and delays from the NHS alone. What did he think about the Hillsborough disaster and the cover up, Rotherham, the war on a lie, or the Stafford hospital scandal, for example?

    1. Hope
      May 27, 2017

      May still wants to regionalise England by stealth with her Mayors that we rejected. We wanted EVEL and an English parliament, to be on the same playing field as the other nations in the U.K. Weasel Cameron, true to form, failed to deliver what he promised claiming the sham he offered fulfilled his Promise! He also reformed the EU, so he claimed, so we should rejoice and be confident that there is no need for serious negotiation as he personally changed them!

      JR, May has wrecked Brexit because there will be a hung parliament, if this was not deliberate then she is stupid. A lot of people will be furious. This will mean the remainers won and we will, all but name, be in the EU. Tory idiots.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 28, 2017

        More and more layers of government will be a disaster, the economy needs far less government to be able to compete.

    2. Gov't , enemy within
      May 27, 2017

      Lifelogic When a terrorist strikes in the UK and the government as first resort raids rented houses on a council housing estate IN the UK, you know you have a foreign alien government in power, here.

  3. Lifelogic
    May 27, 2017

    More or Less (radio 4 yesterday) suggested that only one in ten men and about one in four women will actually need a care or nursing home and gave average lengths of stay and costs. Overall the costs, on average, per person, seems to work out at just under £10K. True this does not take account of any care needed in their own homes, before going into the nursing home. But it is hardly that much of an expensive problem to solve, so why has the Tory manifesto created all this electorally disastrous fuss?

    Why are no insurance policies or government schemes available to cover these risks (to cap them for the few who might need very expensive & long term nursing at great expense). May should introduce a cap now allowing people to buy their cap by paying a voluntary monthly insurance premium to the state or insurance companies – calculated by their current age.

    The sensitivity is because we are taxed far, far too much already and get little of any real value in return. Stop the endless government waste, go for cheap energy, grow the tax base and cut out the red tape to increase productivity. We can then afford it easily.

    Help to grow the private health and education sectors with vouchers and tax breaks, instead of taxing them to death. This would save the state lots of money too.

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    May 27, 2017

    Prosperity eh? Perhaps the latest opinion poll forecasting a Conservative majority of TWO is due to Mrs May taking her core support for granted? Since 2010 the Conservatives have taken away my child benefit. While because I did those traditional conservative things like working hard at school and getting a good job, I do not qualify for the married persons tax allowance either. My other half is a senior doctor. Last night the hospital rang up saying could he come in for a 12 hour shift because they were under staffed for the weekend.(Anybody else noticed why Hunt is not trumpeting the “seven day” NHS during the campaign?) The answer was “no” because, after tax, he would have walked out with around £200 for his efforts. Until the Conservative Party is thoroughly purged of Cameronism its of no interest to the traditional conservative voter.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      May 27, 2017

      Until my child benefit is restored (or removed from everyone) I will not be voting Conservative.

      I am deemed rich as I earn over £60K but households with two earners totaling £60K are deemed in need of this benefit when they do not even have to pay higher rate tax and so are already better of then me with two tax free allowances too.

      If government spent less then it would not need to tax me so much and could investigate fairer ways of ensuring everyone pays their way.

      Taxation by household is the fairest method of determining how much we should pay. We are all competing for the same overpriced, housing and resources and should have equal opportunity to keep our earnings.

    2. Cliff. Wokingham.
      May 27, 2017

      Hear hear!

    3. Know-dice
      May 27, 2017

      I see it as pure arrogance from Mrs May that “traditional” Tory voters would vote for her rubbish manifesto come what “may”…

      What are people telling Mr Redwood on the doorsteps of Wokingham?

      1. Dame Rita Webb
        May 27, 2017

        Hopefully telling JR, after having the frighteners put on them of Corbyn as PM, Abbot as Home Sec and McDonnell at the Treasury that they are not bothered. After all how could those three be any worse than what we have had since 2010? A national debt that has doubled and no real commitment to cut spending, a wide open borders policy and a police force that continues to endure a death of a thousand cuts, in excess of 20,000 in Mrs May’s case.

      2. Lifelogic
        May 27, 2017

        There is no other sensible option. The choice is a dopey, Oxford Geography graduate who is clearly an economic and scientific illiterate, a big state, high tax & red tape loving, vanity project enthusiast & ex(?) remainer.

        Or an even dafter real socialist (2 E’s at A level and a drop out from trade Union Studies at North London Poly it seems).

        At least the later was sound on the EU until very recently, is anti damaging wars, seems human and his brother is sound on global warming. But just the prospect of Corbyn would kill the economy dead. It might just survive Theresa May if she is reined in by the sensible wing post June 8th.

      3. Peter Parsons
        May 30, 2017

        Given that Wokingham is a safe seat and therefore not of any interest to an election campaign run by Sir Lynton Crosby (read Tim Ross’ book on the 2015 election if you don’t believe me), I suspect that there isn’t much doorstep activity at all.

        If we had a fair and representative system, Wokingham constituency would be worth the parties bothering with as our votes would count for something. As it is, all the parties either basically ignore us or take us for granted and deploy their resources elsewhere (in the marginals and target seats).

        Reply The Conservative party is active in Wokingham

    4. Lifelogic
      May 27, 2017

      Indeed. The Conservative Party is for lower taxes, sensible economic management freedom and UK based democracy or it is nothing. Under Heath, Major, Cameron and now T May is seemed/seems to aspire merely to the later.

      Even under Thatcher it was far from perfect. There is a golden opportunity for them now, as there was for Cameron & Osborne. They made a fist of it due to their broken compass but can T May be turned? About half of Tory MP are fairly sound after all? Even if they nearly all voted for the bonkers climate change act, endless tax increases and the counterproductive wars.

    5. graham1946
      May 27, 2017

      If you have a ‘god job’ and a husband who is a senior doctor, why do you expect the sub 25 grand tax payer to pay for your kids? £200 after tax for a 12 hour shift? Many are living on that for a week.

      You need to have a bit of a think.

      1. Dame Rita Webb
        May 27, 2017

        For those of us in the real world we could not give a toss. If you are not pulling in those sort of wages it is because you do not have the necessary skills to demand that sort of renumeration. It grieves me as much as it does that an illiterate Premier League footballer can pull in a week more than a surgeon can in year. Unfortunately thats the world we live in now get used to it.

      2. Lifelogic
        May 28, 2017

        The reality is that just half the workers in the UK pay no net tax at all, beyond what they get back in immediate benefits and their children’s education. It is only the wealthier half who pay all the net tax.

        This is a failure of the NHS rigged market. He prefers to have his 12 hours quality time rather than the £200. His patients however might have been very happy to pay him rather more for prompt, efficient treatment, had the system allowed it. Over taxation harms everyone both rich and poor and the economy in general. Taxation kills almost all choice in health care leaving a dire state monopoly. What is needed is freedom of choice.

        Looking at the way the NHS is “disorganised” it is perhaps not a very appealing place to work either.

        1. graham1946
          May 28, 2017

          Those that don’t pay tax are very poorly paid – after all, £11,500 is no kings ransom. I think all should pay some tax, even those on the dole, even if it is say a penny a week or something, so that everyone has a stake in the country. Child benefit should extend no further than the first two and certainly should not be paid to those who don’t need it. It is far bigger than pensioners fuel assistance which is being seen as a current evil.

          The failure of the NHS is because is not becuase it is a ‘rigged’ market but that it is run as a market at all. The waste pitting one against another with all the bureaucracy involved is staggering. More is wasted on pen pushers than over subscribing and the prices paid for drugs and equipment by these geniuses is a big problem.
          Our NHS is cheaper than any top country in the world in per head of population terms and costs half as much as the lack of health service that great bastion of free enterprise the USA for many times it’s performance. It is not a great place to work, I have a sister there but this is the way politicians have organised it lastly by Andrew Lansley who wasted 3 billion on creating a shambles. Where is he now? In the Lords probably,

        2. Peter Parsons
          May 30, 2017

          You only need to earn £8,164 to start paying tax on your earnings – that is the level at which National Insurance kicks in (£157/week).

          If you’re self employed, the level is even lower at £6,025.

          £157/week in Wokingham is peanuts if you’re having to rent somewhere to live.

  5. Prigger
    May 27, 2017

    In many ways I wish the South East and London would keep their riches for the most part to themselves. Oh I know many Londoners strangely like London, even love it. One can get used to anything I suppose.
    The South East, parts of it, was wonderful fifty years ago. I remember it fondly. It’s hardly a decent place to live now of course. The north of England’s wealth intake from the south is in the form of roads and horrid cluttering housing. It used to be a Soviet thing…Russians used to remark “Why go visit another city in Russia? They all look the same.” It wasn’t exactly true there nor here but if you were blindfolded and landed in most locations in England now you would have to ask where you are and with many not understanding what you asked.
    I find the north of England spaceful. Northern Powerhousesare a nasty threat of decivilisation that only a right Osborne would come up with.
    We shall need to emigrate to Canada or USA for a bit of peace and quiet

    1. pete soakel
      May 27, 2017

      prig, my dads got a sail boat, i will ask him. no promises)- i am in twickenham london and apart from the wailing of stranded passengers, the sonics are birds singing on this beautiful spring night.

  6. agricola
    May 27, 2017

    Before you speak of spreading prosperity you need to look and think carefully about the way you run this site. It may be your own but contributors have a share in it to the extent that it is worthless without them. You can make all the noises you wish about size of response or libellous content, but you go much further than this, you operate like the Stasi, removing any comment that does not suit your narrative. In particular under Manchester Bombing my uncontentious contribution hung around un-moderated, got published after protest and then was eliminated. If that is not censorship I do not know what is. If all you wish to read is sycophantic blah then live the delusion.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      May 27, 2017

      Here is a comment that should test JRs rubric for comments. Will HMG be arranging to have the remaining members of the ( named family ed- these things are sub juice)that are in police custody, deported after they have been locked up, if they have been found guilty as charged? Or will Mrs May uphold their human rights? In that they cannot be deported back to Libya because they have a right to “a family life” and Libya is so unsafe anyway their lives would be endangered if they were sent back to begin with?

    2. eeyore
      May 27, 2017

      All who comment here reach an audience they could never command on their own, and they do so in a context that, unlike many blogs, is kept pertinent, thoughtful and civilised. The labour of doing this falls on one man with much else to do, a self-imposed task for which I for one am very grateful.

      No one but JR knows how much offensive, malicious, wearisome, twaddling, illiterate, libellous and hatefilled dross he has to read and reject to keep standards up. And valuable as many comments are here, I cannot possibly agree that this blog would be worthless without them.

      Nor do I believe he is so touchy or censorious as to suppress opinions he does not share. He accepts comments that are brief, legal and decent. Contributors who ignore these elementary guidelines have only themselves to blame.

      1. agricola
        May 27, 2017

        You miss the point. Through censorship you are denied the opportunity to disagree with me and are reduced to writing a general comment which has little relevance to what I wrote, which I would submit did not fall into any of the categories within your para two.

      2. Anonymous
        May 27, 2017

        I got a bit snappy with Dr Redwood the other day. I had no right to.

        Sorry Dr Redwood.

    3. Prigger
      May 27, 2017

      It hurts not to see your thoughts in print. It also hurts to write, sometimes.
      I have seen all kinds of stuff published here in the Comments which JR could not possibly see as his own opinion.
      Write a book ! You can self -publish for nothing on the internet as an e-book. Twitter allows you to do a stream of tweets in succession, amounting to a book, which anyone can see and print out. Bright ideas will be plagiarised however. If Charles Dickens were not dead I would take him to court for such of some of my own writings.

    4. ian wragg
      May 27, 2017

      It’s Johns site paid for by him and he can publish as he wishes. be grateful we have such an outlet to air our views.

      1. cornishstu
        May 27, 2017

        I think all our MPs should have a blog it might give them a bit more feed back and put them in touch with what we their employers really think and expect our parliamentarians to be doing, instead of listening to those inside the echo chamber of westminster. Though as the saying goes you can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink.

        1. eeyore
          May 28, 2017

          Hear hear. Then we’d find how many MPs know anything and have thoughts worth listening to.

          More seriously, statesmen aspire to see farther and deeper than others, and that gives them a duty of public education. JR steps up like a trooper. But the rest . . ?

          This thread began with agricola’s complaint. Can I just urge him to bear up and not take it personally? We all get spiked. An editor can’t be accountable – life’s too short – and his decision is and must be final.

      2. leave won
        May 28, 2017

        Yes. He is doing a good job.

    5. formula57
      May 27, 2017

      That we are allowed to comment at all I see as a generous indulgence that enhances the benefit of this excellent site.

      Not every one of my comments has been published but I remain obliged for those that were. Obviously, my perspective may be a little different, what with my privileged albeit very expensive Platinum level Membership but I hope I can still speak for even those poor souls struggling by on Ordinary level. 😉

  7. Jerry
    May 27, 2017

    “Successful modern cities are particularly good at attracting or producing well educated and highly trained people, and linking them up with entrepreneurs.”

    Most people do not live or work in Cities, most companies are not based in Cities, most companies do not have access to the City based people you speak of, when will you start talking of and for the JAM?

    1. eeyore
      May 27, 2017

      Government figures from 2015 show 83% of the English population is urban, of whom almost 40% live in conurbations and the rest in cities and towns. Nearly 17% live in villages. Remarkably, only 0.4% live in the countryside. I hope this is of service to our angry friend.

    2. Edward2
      May 27, 2017

      I think you will find most people do live and work in Cities.

      1. Jerry
        May 27, 2017

        @Edward2; You sound as though you are either a citizen of the USA or live in the USA, you might need to think about that Eddie! You do realise just how few “Cities” the UK actually has, a mere 69, and even then many people merely live or work near to but not within their City…

      2. Edward2
        May 27, 2017

        I had a quick look on the internet before I posted and there a few articles one was from the Guardian which said about 70% of people lived in UK cities in the 1950s and this has risen since that time.
        The report estimated that it could go to 90% by 2030
        It surprised me how high it was.

    3. libertarian
      May 27, 2017


      I entirely agree with you.

  8. formula57
    May 27, 2017

    So the second highest spending per head was in Scotland at £13,054. Let us ask again how the SNP government affords the generous provisions on health and education etc. denied to the rest of the UK. And if there is no oil revenue, what exactly do the rest of us get for being joined to Scotland?

    As for addressing the revenue gap between London and the rest, that gap could be cut at a stroke (to use an Edward Heath term) and would be by excluding Scotland on its exit from the Union.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 27, 2017

      For one thing, the ability to launch jet interceptors from Lossiemouth.

    2. alan jutson
      May 27, 2017


      I find it staggering that the Government spends more than £10,000 for every person.

      I wonder how many of the population actually pay that amount in tax each year.

  9. Ian Wragg
    May 27, 2017

    The problem with London is it has become a no go area for ethnic Brits.
    Either you are mega rich or on housing benefit.
    People entering the country flock to London and expect to be housed and their kids educated something denied the rest of British people.
    This is a reason London voted overwhelmingly for remaining.
    After all turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

  10. eeyore
    May 27, 2017

    It’s very common to hear resentment from the provinces about the South-east leeching off them and sucking away their prosperity, so the figures given in this post are of much interest, as are JR’s thoughts based on them.

    There is a parallel in the heavy tax burden borne by the wealthy. The top 1% of taxpayers contribute over a quarter of the income tax, yet are subject to class hatred shamelessly whipped up to serve political ends and only too readily credited by the bottom 50%, who pay no income tax at all.

    Redistribution, whether regional or personal, leaves recipients angry, demoralised and despairing. Worse, they are deterred from making proper efforts in their own interest, partly by a system which penalises them if they do but also by human nature itself, which will be slothful if it can and active only if it must. What’s that old cliché about giving a man a fish? Is redistribution really the best policy government can devise?

    1. NHSGP
      May 27, 2017

      The problem is that the state has redistributed the working mans money. Trillions paid in and all gone. Just a massive debt that John Redwood knows exists, but won’t talk about or quantify.

      The error of the Tories was in 2010, and not having a full audit and putting that debt on the books. If they had done so, then they could have blamed Labour. They didn’t and now its those in power who are to blame.

      So that leaves the only option, Greek style default against the public where the state doesn’t make good on its side of the deal.

      But you have to know the amount owed to see that is the consequence.

      Reply I have often cited the figures for the debts.

    2. On Edge
      May 27, 2017

      “Fighting the rich” should be below us as a civilisation. Regulating the powerful is better if we cannot exist without blaming someone else for our plight. I myself am as poor as a church mouse after the Sunday collection. Do I blame anyone? No. It is all the fault of dark forces hidden in the walls and sometimes taking over the TV. It probably says so in the original Labour Manifesto but taken out as such ideas were deemed over the heads of the Labour electorate.

  11. A.Sedgwick
    May 27, 2017

    The Conservative Manifesto is an unmitigated disaster, the perpetrators have not learned from the rise of UKIP, who know what is populist. Your piece the other day about unknowns is relevant about Mrs. May, who most would have said was an unknown quantity as PM. Some of us writing here were very dubious about her credentials for the job, therefore not an unknown, and the rise of Corbyn is now a threat to us all. I note that you supported Andrea Leadsom.

    Andrew Neil was doing the Conservative Party’s job last night in his interview with Corbyn, which was most disturbing. If he is elected Trident will go, if for no other reason than the money has gone. So Europe will be left with France’s nuclear “deterrent”, this does not reassure me one bit.

    When the euphoria about a landslide victory was at its height my posted view was a 50 majority was more likely, that prospect would bring great relief to CP HQ now. We can only hope that happens, then May has to go. We are in the bizarre situation where either party leader if elected could face a vote of confidence.

    1. Ian Pennell
      May 27, 2017

      @ A.Sedgwick,

      Sadly, I think even you may be optimisic. The TREND of the Polls for the Conservatives (i.e. Poll Lead) is DOWN and SHARPLY SO. Don’t be surprised to see Polls showing Labour ahead just before Election Day. We are on course to LOSE Seats not gain them!

      The Conservative Manifesto has been a complete Dog’s Breakfast. Theresa May should GO when the results come in showing a Hung Parliament is likely.
      Get David Davis or John Redwood himself in charge of the Party with a no-nonsense proper Conservative approach should we lose this.

      1. Jerry
        May 27, 2017

        @Ian Pennell; “Get David Davis or John Redwood himself in charge of the Party with a no-nonsense proper Conservative approach should we lose this.”

        Yeah, why not do what Labour did after 1979, ignore that the tide of popular opinion has turned, why not do what the Conservative party did in 1997, ignore that the tide of popular opinion had turned…

        1. libertarian
          May 28, 2017


          Or you could do as you do and ignore that the tide of public opinion turned after June 23rd 2016

    2. Helm-less
      May 27, 2017

      I have not noticed a riproaring Tory Party Election Campaign even before the official pause in campaigning.Their national website is still incomplete regarding candidates cvs and photos. Even their regional and town websites are not functional. No indication an election is about to take place or even the name of a somebody who may stand for something or other. Have we noticed that TV is also lacking in Conservatives apart from Dominic Raab ( 2015 election 28,000 more votes than the one in second place ) and Iain Duncan Smith ( 8,000 more votes than his rival in 2015 )?
      You would think MPs from marginals who are good on TV would be shoved onto TV by CP Central Office. There does not seem anyone at the helm of the Campaign

      1. graham1946
        May 27, 2017

        They seem to be ashamed to be Conservatives. Apparently the ‘Battle Bus’ only shows the word in small print – haven’t actually seen it but that was reported.

        This afternoon I passed a hoarding for my local MP which said (Candidate’s name) ‘Standing with Theresa May’ It did have a blue flash, but in the time it took to drive past, I didn’t see it said ‘Conservative’.

        They are just hoping the May factor will win it, but the gloss is coming off fast, especially after the interview with Andrew Neil where she couldn’t answer a straight question but just re-gurgitated sound bites no doubt issued by some 20 something SPAD. She’s not up to the job I’m afraid. Another poor ‘choice’ by the Tory Party (even though they didn’t actually choose, more ‘Hobsons choice’.

        1. Cheshire Girl
          May 28, 2017

          The battlebus did only have the name of the Conservative Party in very small print.
          The Party membership were given no vote on who should be Prime Minister. It seemed to be assumed that Theresa May met with the approval of all members.

          This election campaign has been more about a person than a Party. Whether this approach will be successful remains to be seen.

  12. Richard1
    May 27, 2017

    Good analysis in the telegraph of Corbyn’s ignorant and contemptible apologia for terrorism:-

    Jeremy Corbyn thinks the real evil is Western intervention, not Isil – and Labour wants him in office

    1. forthurst
      May 27, 2017

      Isil bad, al Qaeda in its various brands, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group etc good. Tell it to the Marines and, on the latter, to the people of Manchester. By the way, where does Isil, bad, get it’s money and its weapons? Islamic terror is a construct of ‘Western’ intelligence. We patriotic English are getting sick and tired of British foreign policy being decided for the benefit of the most oppressive regimes in the ME. Only time will tell whether May will be a traitor like Blair and Cameron before her. I hope she will not for the good of my country and for Europe.

    2. Mitchel
      May 27, 2017

      Regardless of Jeremy Corbyn,the Saudi-loving,neo-con infiltrated British Establishment does bear a responsibility for terrorism with it’s interventionism.

      Peter Oborne,who is usually good on these matters,has another excellent article in today’s Mail:-“Why M16 must share the blame for the jihads in our midst”.

      Whilst praising,correctly,M15,he wonders whether some M16 operators are not working in the national interest.He’s not the only one.

      1. zorro
        May 28, 2017

        That begs the question of which nation’s interest they could be working for if that is the case. I don’t remember ISIS apologising to us after attacking us but then it wasn’t a mistake…..


  13. Dave Andrews
    May 27, 2017

    It would help if there was clear information on how prosperity will be cultivated.
    The Conservative manifesto is lengthy waffle of management speak – sorry but my eyes glazed over after the first page. UKIP’s manifesto was better. Labour seem bent on burdening business with more legislation and especially more tax.
    Can we have an agenda for prosperity please, that encourages individuals to set up or expand business?

    1. forthurst
      May 27, 2017

      You should have read to the end of the Conservative manifesto because the sting is in the tail.

    2. Dennis
      May 27, 2017

      “Can we have an agenda for prosperity please, that encourages individuals to set up or expand business?”

      No one ever explains where the fundamental energy to fuel this comes from – never thought about and what it means.

  14. Mark B
    May 27, 2017

    Good morning

    So we don’t need Scotland then.

    London has under attracted some of the best brightest who can command high salaries and pay to live in am expensive city.

    The reason that other parts of the UK are not doing so is is due to the decline of manufacturing. This can best traced back to the decline in Empire and the loss of our own captive markets.

    The problem is, what to the ? Well one this you do not do is make things worse. And by that make far too much regulation and energy too expensive. But clearly this government, or indeed any political parties, clearly do not understand this. Could this best because tge have never run a business or sat on a board ?

    1. forthurst
      May 27, 2017

      Mark: [The decline in manufacturing] can best traced back to the decline in Empire and the loss of our own captive markets.

      So Red Robbo and Geoffrey Howe were just assisting an inevitable secular decline towards our de-industrialisation?

  15. JoolsB
    May 27, 2017

    If your party was really serious, they could start by having the guts to scrap the skewed and unfair Barnett Formula but they haven’t and they won’t. Only UKIP have got the courage to end something which is so blatantly unfair to England. Even Joel Barnett, said it was unfit for purpose and only designed as a temporary measure some forty years ago but I guess Mrs. May and this Tory Government will carry on ignoring England and the rotten deal it gets financially, except when she’s after their votes of course. After all she doesn’t want to upset Scotland and the rest of this so called union does she?

    1. Beecee
      May 27, 2017

      And the rest of this Union does not vote for the Tories!

      So where is the loyalty to the English voters who elect them?

      1. JoolsB
        May 27, 2017

        Exactly! The Tories take the English vote granted. They deserve our contempt instead of our votes.

      2. getahead
        May 27, 2017

        It will go back to UKIP once we are out of the EU. The truly low tax conservative party.

  16. Chris S
    May 27, 2017

    I agree with everything in this comment bar two short sentences.

    Firstly, Oxford and Cambridge are not suitable examples of the way forward for the areas of the UK that are in deficit. They are almost unique in attracting people of the highest intelligence and almost exclusively produce extremely profitable cutting edge businesses. The rest of the UK cannot possibly follow that model as there are not enough of these people to go round and what would the rest of us do for a living if there were ?

    To generate high paid jobs for the many, and not the few, to coin a phrase, we need more medium sized engineering businesses, the kind that Germany is so good at nurturing. We have very small and very large successful businesses but very little in between. This is because the smaller companies cannot get long term investment to grow to the next level.

    Secondly, the Westminster government owes it to the profitable parts of the UK to get to grips with the worst performing areas and eliminate excessive public expenditure. Scotland is the perfect example. Sturgeon is allowed to run riot with generous public services that the rest of us are paying for and don’t benefit from ! This is not sustainable and must be put right.

    In Scotland no further investment is needed : the money saved by charging tuition fees, reintroducing prescriptions charges and restricting benefits etc should be used to bolster and nurture business.

    Wales in many ways resembles the difficult problems still being experienced in the former DDR.

    Money will need to be spent to bring prosperity to the families of those former welsh miners whose industry had come to the end of its natural life through no fault of the miners themselves, although Scargill and the NUM bore significant responsibility for the way it ended.

    I accept that pure Government intervention in industry has a very poor record : just look at the attempts to introduce car manufacturing to Linwood in Scotland and in Belfast. That does not mean that further attempts should not be made. After all, Nissan and Honda have been very successful in Sunderland and Swindon Brexit will provide an opportunity to do things differently so why could these successes not be repeated elsewhere ?

    By contrast, in recent years unbridled capitalism was almost allowed to destroy the Welsh steel industry. While I am to the right of Mrs May on most things, I cannot see how it is sensible to close down an industry we badly need and put workers out to grass at the taxpayer’s expense, just to fuel the dumping of imported steel from China.

    Reply Durham, Manchester etc also have well thought of universities.

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    May 27, 2017

    While encouraging firms to open up outside London and SE is a good idea, national civil service, teaching and emergency service salaries make it difficult for firms to pay lower salaries in the regions. If they are paying London wages, they may as well have London infrastructure.

    Time to end national wage bargaining and make it regional. There is a better quality of life available to those outside London but firms have to move to make the jobs available.

  18. NHSGP
    May 27, 2017

    The first is you do need large transfers of money in a currency union to make it work.


    Break up into regions. Each gets tax autonomy. Then what happens is that they have to cut the costs to supply the services.

    That cost cutting then means that the area becomes attractive for investment.

    Or the problem solves itself in a Detroit style way.

    The problem still remains.

    What to do with the 10 trillion pounds you owe for pensions and have hidden off the books?

  19. Na
    May 27, 2017

    All that money spent on cctv in Westminster and they turned it off to save money a year later. What sort of madness is this?

  20. Michael
    May 27, 2017

    How unappealing do you have to be to lose to a party led by Mr Corbyn?

    Who thought it would be good idea to come up with a manifesto promise nobody was expecting that unsettled the older generation and at the same time threatened the inheritance of the young.

    Good policy but the ground was not prepared, it came as a surprise. And of course the U-turn promise of the possibility of a cap shot the claim of strong and stable to pieces.

    Poor campaign so far

  21. Antisthenes
    May 27, 2017

    If a union the UK that has similar cultures, histories, languages, economic models and are highly integrated are encountering difficulties in creating equality in productive output and economic sustainability. Which also finds maintaining social harmony fraught with difficulties what hope has the EU have in maintaining it’s structural cohesion? Not much I would suggest as they suffer with the same problems and others like greater diversity of languages, economic models and an inadequate political and economic system that may never be fixed because of wealth transfer obligations.

    Your figures do not not lend any credence to the SNP’s demand for independence but much to those non Scots who say let them leave. Being a Welshman I can be nothing but grateful and apologise that because we are dull enough to keep voting for a left wing assembly we make England’s burden greater as there incompetence ensures that the demand for English taxpayers money is greater than it would be otherwise.

  22. Caterpillar
    May 27, 2017

    1. Flat highish Land Value Tax (reduce other taxes if aiming not to keep total tax as percentage of GDP the same). This is the most obvious, well-founded approach, for the required increase in market efficiency.

    2. Educate the country and MPs so that they ‘remember’ that because Birmingham had very low unemployment and growth it was intentionally disabled by Distribution of Industry Act 1945 and the Control of Office Employment Act 1965. Handicapping Birmingam first for manufacture then for services left the UK with only one, so-called, global city in London, when the UK could have had two. If the country and politicians do not recall that the London based Govt stopped the development of Birmingham, it is very easy to focus on “success” policies and overlook what really happened was half a century of mandated failure (and perhaps consequentially some alienation).

    3. Getting the concentration of Government investment right is difficult, comparing 15 billion for 60 or so miles of Crossrail to the new West Midlands mayors’ 8 billion (PV) over 30 years, over the whole of the WM, puts into perspective the challenges of ‘focus’ vs ‘perceived fairness’. [Support the potential new Birmingham airport terminal near the HS2 station, would be an obvious focussed start, plus much more rapid building of the local transport infrastructure to link there].

    4. Relocation of parliament to a new centre outside of London (Birmingham/Meriden/Coventry) is cheaper than doing up the old palace, and would recognise central England etc etc.

    1. Caterpillar
      May 27, 2017

      Correction: no “not” in first sentence

  23. Christine
    May 27, 2017

    Coming from a North West town I have seen jobs in our area decimated by the pull factor of Cities. All my children have had to move away to find jobs. HS2, Crossrail and free travel for London pensioners have no benefit for us. Our airport has closed our rail link still hasn’t been electrified. We just can’t compete. Government jobs are being moved out of our area so how can you expect private companies to invest? Maybe less grandiose projects and more investment in towns and villages would be better.

    1. M. W. Browne
      May 27, 2017

      I completely agree.

      The rail link from Manchester to Sheffiield is still a filty belching diesel train, that at times seems barely able to pull it’s own weight.

      London has goodness knows how many Crossrails, but where are the fast rail links, underground/tunneled through the Pennines, from Manchester to Leeds/Sheffield ?

    2. a-tracy
      May 29, 2017

      I agree Christine and see the same problems

  24. paul wills
    May 27, 2017

    We need some fresh thinking with all of this but I fear that with the calibre of political leaders we have at the moment there’s no chance, so I suppose for the moment we’ll just have to muddle through. For instance- a week ago Mrs May had it all- then she threw it away- just what is going on? meanwhile Corbyn continues with his navel gazing and despite some awful gaffs is closing up- now just short of 5% behind- Could this be all fake news I wonder? Could the Russians be behind it all or the other dark forces that are sometimes alluded to. Could Macron himself be the new Napoleon? We are indeed living in strange times

  25. Bert Young
    May 27, 2017

    The Conservative manifesto was a disappointment to me , and I would suspect , to most other right wingers . It was not long before the pundits were out showing how the gap had narrowed to Labour . Theresa’s subsequent effort to show that the old age punishment was not what it was purported to be was another nail in the coffin . The blunders that have come from Central Office show just how stupid their advisers are .

    The country needs encouragement and belief in the mission for Brexit . Increasing the Conservative majority is more about opportunism and lower taxes than anything else ; Theresa has made the monumental mistake in believing that the only way she can strengthen her hand is by bending over to the Left when the only thing that the vast majority want now is to ” get on with it “; Corbyns’ blunders and persona are fodder to her case – she hardly needs to lift a finger .

    There is not much time left now to put things back on course . Signs that Hammond is a mistake would be no bad thing and that his tax blunders will never be considered would be a good message . It would also help if a statement were issued showing that regional favours were not the way to go . A millionaire Scot should not be laughing under his kilt .

  26. brian
    May 27, 2017

    Oxford and Cambridge are successful because they have world class universities.

  27. M. W. Browne
    May 27, 2017

    I used to be a Conservative voter, but now vote UKIP.

    Continual diversion of English money to Scotland.
    Refusal to stop immigration, especially from Asia and Africa.
    More and more taxes and tax compliction.
    Refusal to speak out for England and refusal to set up an Engliosh Parliament.

    I suspect that quite a few others feel the same way, so you might find it hard to acieve your desired landslide victory.

  28. norman
    May 27, 2017

    OK, you fickle conservatives. You’re scrabbling for the life-boats, when you should be supporting the captain! I predicted in a previous comment that this would happen. Those who underestimated the wily Corbyn were duped. Mrs May must be supported now, to see Brexit through. After that, let’s see where we go from there. Let’s hope people will rally to her on 8 June; but there are many short-sighted youngsters who will swallow Corbyn’s sweeteners. Our nation, now nearing the end of a long reign by a benign and godly monarch, is at a most dangerous cross-roads. This is not the time to be jumping ship!

    1. ian wragg
      May 27, 2017

      Why support a closet socialist when you can vote for the real thing.
      The manifesto was a disgrace and an insult to those who do the right thing.

    2. David Price
      May 27, 2017

      I agree, Brexit must be, has to be the principle focus of this government and it needs to carry the population with it. The only party at the moment that can address that is the Theresa May party so they should be supported, regardless of whether they are truly conservative.

      Punishment for betraying their core supporters may come later.

    3. fedupsoutherner
      May 27, 2017

      Agree Norman but will only be voting Conservative now because of Brexit and because the other parties are just non starters. If we want the UK to fail we could vote for Corbyn.

  29. agricola
    May 27, 2017

    Judging from the first fifteen comments you are indeed fortunate to be where you are in the polls. Be grateful that the electorate see you as the Brexit party. Judgement awaits on how well you achieve it. If you do get in, resolve the Brexit issue cleanly, because you will be in serious trouble if you do not. Minus Brexit your mandate for most of what the manifesto contains would put you on very thin ice with natural conservative voters. From a whips point of view it will be like trying to herd cats. Just get it into your heads that you are the least unpleasant option.

  30. acorn
    May 27, 2017

    Nice idea JR but I can’t see how a conservative government, that leaves everything to the private sector, then just hangs about waiting for it to produce some miracle. At the same time, you follow a fiscal policy that shrinks the private sector’s ability to expand its capacity, by denying it government contracts with central bank money.

    You are effectively operating an EU style stability and growth pact, debt and deficits reduction program. It doesn’t work in the Euro area either.

  31. Enrico
    May 27, 2017

    The UKIP manifesto is independently fully costed and goes at the heart of what needs doing to help sort the country out.All it needs is for people to vote for them as they most certainly can’t do any worse than all the other parties have done since 1964.
    Just think Nigel Farage leading the negotiations on Brexit.Who do you think would get all their own way?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      May 27, 2017

      Nigel Farage made a big mistake stepping down when he did. If things don’t go well in this election then watch this space as I can see him making a come back. If we get Corbyn in then I will be voting UKIP asap.

  32. North-blindness
    May 27, 2017

    “The second is the gap between London and the rest is high. We need to help bring the others up by adopting policies that promote more enterprise and new business in the lower income areas.”
    I wonder why the free enterprise system is not automatically availing itself of cheap labour and virgin territory in the North and Scotland. From what I gather, the Mayor of London has to pull strings and use his contacts in business and the Cabinet to find enough land to site a lamp post. Harold Macmillan did not understand either, as he stated in his last speech…” In all my years I have never understood why I was not able to…”
    When a conservative finds the answer he could very well be awarded the Nobel Prize of having one eye.

  33. libertarian
    May 27, 2017

    The politicians in general and sadly the Conservative party in particular have completely lost touch with what is going on in this country. They have no idea and nothing to offer the wealth creators or indeed the hard workers.

    Where I live we have just passed the 100,000 businesses mark for the first time. 99.3% are micro and small businesses , it is they who are creating the jobs and the wealth, it is they who innovate and invent the future. However it is they who are continually attacked by the Conservative government at national, regional and local level.

    You have ordered a “clampdown” by HMRC on small firms, the insane new IR35 ruling ( hitting the public sector even harder) Another workplace pension on top of ENI , a national living wage ( without calculating the cost of wage differentials), the apprentice levy, vastly increased business rates , quarterly tax reporting , maternity, paternity and every other form of leave, the raised insurance premium tax, the closure and sell off of municipal car parks. I have an office, in a largish town, with 12 employees, we have 1 car park space, no public transport and not allowed on street parking . Its a 5 year old industrial estate ( bonkers) .

    What most people who dont run businesses fail to understand is that despite ALL this additional costs ( costs that could have gone on wages or more staff) we still have wages rising at 2.5% Imagine what wages could be if we didn’t have all these extra employment and regulatory costs to bare too. Also of course being in the South East our office, factory, shop and warehouse rents are the highest in the UK as well.

    Meanwhile despite the huge amount of taxes we all pay, our technology infrastructure is 3rd world, our roads are riddled with highly dangerous potholes, our health provision is at breaking point and our education system is failing to produce anyone that is even vaguely work ready for a 21st century world. Oh and they can’t protect citizens from repeated mass murder .

    But rejoice May and her merry band of idiots are offering us fox hunting and a dementia tax …… Doh

    1. Turboterrier.
      May 27, 2017


      The politicians in general and sadly the Conservative party in particular have completely lost touch with what is going on in this country. They have no idea and nothing to offer the wealth creators or indeed the hard workers.

      Why are you not standing for parliament? All our problems do not require degrees and applying rocket science. Just the ability to listen and understand and believe you can make it happen.

      1. libertarian
        May 28, 2017


        We have a broken system of elections and a laughable democracy

        When I was a younger man I did indeed stand for election as an independent.

        With vastly smaller resources than any political party and despite many many many of my fellow citizens telling me they agreed wholeheartedly with my “manifesto” .

        I came third out of 6 ( i did beat Labour, UKIP and Greens)

        As an entrepreneur , we make poor politicians. We look for solutions and we take risks to get the results we desire. Politicians virtue signal, dont have any “skin in the game” over the long term and are narrowly focused on the game of great pole politics

        Our present system doesn’t allow change thats why we keep on doing the same insane things over and over and over again. If UK politics and governments attempts at modernisation and innovation were matched to what the wealth creators do UK politics would be experimenting still with reeds and clay tablets as writing implements

        1. libertarian
          May 28, 2017

          That should read

          greasy pole politics

  34. Ian Pennell
    May 27, 2017

    Theresa may could have made HUGE inroads into spreading prosperity more widely and appealing much more to C2DE Voters with a proper Manifesto. Even in these austere times halving Foreign Aid and promising NOT to give the EU a “Divorce Bill” would have helped the Conservatives to cost the following without bankrupting Britain:

    1) Increase expenditure on the NHS by £10 billion a year.
    2) Reduce the budget Deficit
    3) Raise the income Tax-free Allowance to £15,000 by 2020.

    And with the remaining proceeds of growth increasing tax revenues:

    4) No more real-terms cuts to Public Services.
    5) More Police to prevent crime and terrorism
    6) Proper road and rail infrastructure investment.

    But after the shambles of the last week it is now TOO LATE to demonstrate the Conservatives’ desire to help poorer families and regions of Britain: Labour have already succeeded in Considerable Measure to portray us as heartless to the elderly sick and to primary school children (i.e. “Theresa May the Lunch Snatcher”); the Tory Poll Lead continues to collapse at a terrifying rate into Hung Parliament territory…..

    I’ve said it already, Theresa May should GO after the Election if the Tories fail to get more Seats. A special man from the 1922 Committee should have a quiet little word in her ear!

    1. alan jutson
      May 28, 2017


      Your listings 1-6

      If only, if only.

      Afraid Mrs May has already fallen into the trap of only seeking advice from close and personal advisors.

      She would have done much better to have spoken to her back bench MP’s, most of whom are not in the Westminster bubble.

      It surely does not take too many brains to work out what was so, so wrong with the proposed/present manifesto.

  35. Denis Cooper
    May 27, 2017
  36. James neill
    May 27, 2017

    What you propose is aspirational..the conservatives have been in government for enough time over the years to bring in the necessary reforms for a fairer society and spreading prosperity more evenly but they didnt..so now theres an election on and we have to listen to more promises..well i for one find it hard to believe in promises any more..actions speak louder..but so far we see little sign of that. In fact mrs mays..”nothing has changed” ..speech in which she implored the people to believe her speaks volumes

  37. John
    May 27, 2017

    To me it would be obvious that an independent Scotland should go for their own currency ‘Scottish Eagle’ so that their currency reflects the value of their economy. This would, in reality, attract inward investment fro outside.

    I find the SNP stance on this bizaar. I wonder what JR would think should be their approach. Its election time so an irrelevant question for the here and now but would be interested to hear it in more banal times.

  38. libertarian
    May 27, 2017

    Interesting, seems the Daily Telegraph agree with me

    Britain’s small businesses overwhelmingly reject Tory manifesto


  39. ian
    May 27, 2017

    Wait till you in england have to paid off the scotish debt, which is running at around 100 billion at the moment.

  40. ian
    May 27, 2017

    and going up fast with uni fees, and offer things, which people in england pay for, that’s all going on scotlands debt. i think it running at about 13 billion a year, and going up fast.

  41. Anonymous
    May 27, 2017

    The latest issue is car loans. Moody’s have expressed concern.


    The fictional value of house prices has led to people raising loans to buy flash cars. Nothing has changed in reality – but the gleaming cars are there, on the newly laid driveways.

    So on top of house price debt, now car debt – and if they were to be paid off by selling the homes the house value drop would see that there is, in fact, no money to pay.

    None at all.

    This all started long before the Brexit vote, btw.

  42. APL
    May 28, 2017

    JR: “The first is you do need large transfers of money in a currency union to make it work.”

    Or the ability of the successful areas to accommodate large influxes of the population from the less successful areas. Helped in this, is cultural homogeneity, similar language, similar cultural norms, disinclination of one culturally distinct group to attack another. The more homogeneous your population, the more mobile the population.

    JR: “The third is transfers help balance things up, but they do not in themselves correct the longer term imbalances which stem from too little successful private sector business in the lower income areas.”

    Typically, for a statist, you ignore a very significant issue. The rason d’etre for the existence of a given population centre may has evaporated. Take Liverpool for example, expanded as a result of the transatlantic slave trade.

    Pretty much all funds transferred from central government to Liverpool is simply an attempt to deny long term economic trends.

    Thus ineffective and a waste of resources.

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