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MPs to examine regional economic divide

A cross-party group of MPs has launched an inquiry into the regional imbalances that currently exist in the British economy.

The treasury select committee will look at the nature of regional imbalances and whether official regional economic forecasts should be produced.

Committee chair Nicky Morgan said it has become ‘abundantly clear’ that there are disparities and differences exist.

‘Whether it be a divide between north and south, towns and cities, or urban and rural, people experience the chasm which exists between various parts of the UK through their day to day lives. For example, differences not just in economic growth and income, but also in health and educational outcomes and the quality of infrastructure,’ said Ms Morgan.

‘As part of this inquiry, we’ll examine why this is the case, what the effects are in terms of imbalances, such as wages and employment, and how successful regional programmes have been in promoting regional economic growth.

‘The treasury committee will seek to identify the disparities and explore how better data can inform policy makers on how best to level the playing field.’

In May, the UK Powerhouse study by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), warned the economic gap between the South East and the North will widen one year after Britain leaves the EU.

Another member of the treasury committee, Alison McGovern, added: ‘We must understand how regional economic performance shapes people’s lives and their perceptions of where they live and work. This inquiry will help build that picture.

‘It is not sufficient for the government to only offer figures on economic success in aggregate terms. I hope this inquiry can show how the government can get a full picture of the whole of the UK economy in the future.”

The committee will accept written evidence on its website until 2 August.

Photo by derwiki (Pixabay)

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