While many parts of the UK are becoming more prosperous, there are many communities that feel our economic system is leaving them behind.
These communities – predominantly outside London and the South East – are not becoming any more prosperous or richer. Our economic system is failing them, and they are victims of a deeply unbalanced economy.
Towns and regions in the North and Midlands that were once the beating heart of our economy have been hollowed out and decimated as a result of deindustrialisation. As British manufacturing retreated over the course of the last 30 years, with it went a primary source of high-quality, well-paid and sustainable work that has never been replaced.
As we have seen a shift in our economy from manufacturing to services over the past 50 years, these regions have been left behind with little to sell to the rest of the world. Today, it’s hard to believe that the north had higher levels of living standards than the south not too long ago.
Across the UK – including across the North, inner-city communities and coastal towns – there are many concentrated pockets of inequality, poverty and deprivation. These issues are deep seated and have been exasperated by austerity and a lack of investment from the private and public sector over the course of the last 10 years.
We need to turn the tide; our economy is no longer fit for purpose, nor is it working for those who it should be.