Divided and Connected

The IPPR North report “Divided and Connected State of the North 2019” is to be welcomed. It emphasises the divided state of our nation and what is apparent is that the policies of both major political parties are unlikely to heal that divide anytime soon.

We agree with much of the report especially the suggestion that substantial devolution may hold the key to tackling the severe regional divides that central government has created. Also: “One of the largest opportunities the country now has is to return power to the regions, towns and cities of England through substantial devolution – starting in the North.” Our only disappointment is that Yorkshire devolution was not specifically mentioned.

One of the most significant passages for us appears in the summary. “Centralised governance is a major cause of economic problems in all regions. The UK is the most centralised country of its size in the developed world and this has led to many flawed policy choices: instead of developing sustainable and resilient economies across the country, central government has prioritised short-term economic returns in London and the South East – which often fail to benefit even the people living in those regions, let alone those living in other parts of the country. This is especially a problem in England – which is the largest, but also the most centralised and unequal of the UK nations.”

The full report can be found at:-

https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/state-of-the-north-2019

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