North of England suffers gov't spending cut: report

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-06 04:27:32|Editor: yan
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LONDON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The North of England has suffered a real-terms cut in government spending since the end of the financial crisis in 2009, while all other English regions have seen spending rise, said a new report on Wednesday.

Since 2009/10 total public spending in the North has fallen by 6.3 billion pounds (8 billion U.S. dollars) in real terms, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research North (IPPR North).

This is more than any other English region, while the south east and south west together received a 3.2 billion pound increase in public spending during this period, said IPPR North in the latest publication State of the North 2018.

In addition the report found that average household wealth is more than twice as high in the south east compared to the north east of England, while the increase in property wealth has driven up London's wealth at twice the rate as in the North since 2006/08.

IPPR North said two million working-age adults and one million children live in poverty in the North, with women and those from ethnic minority backgrounds disproportionately affected.

This poverty directly affected the health of Northerners, with England having some of the worst the worst health inequalities in Europe, and the lowest life expectancies in England found in northern neighborhoods.

The report cited the northern town of Blackpool, where the average male life expectancy at birth is 68, compared to the English average of 79.

The lowest healthy life expectancy in England is 46, found in the northern city of Salford, which compares to the average lowest life expectancy across the country of 63.

The report called for an increase of the already-existing government policy of the Northern Powerhouse, to further support and develop the economy of the North, in order to tackle poverty and poor health.

"The government is so consumed by Westminster's Brexit chaos that it has deprioritized the Northern Powerhouse agenda at the very time it is needed most. This cannot continue," said author of the report Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR North.

Raikes called for more devolution of decision-making from central government to leaders in the North of England.

In addition, he recommended support for job creation and productivity growth in high-growth sectors of the economy.

Continued investment in the Northern Powerhouse target of transport infrastructure is recommended but the Northern Powerhouse should be widened, said Raikes, to include investment in social infrastructure such as education, skills and health.