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In the News

Is Levelling Up more than just a catchy slogan?

Graham Watson

26th January 2023

The metropolitan mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham writes here in the Guardian about the prospects for levelling up, noting that Germany has actually done a remarkable job of levelling up post-reunification.

Indeed, the German minister for east Germany, Carsten Schneider, is going to address the Convention for the North on the topic, highlighting the fact that levelling up and federal redistribution is legally mandated by the German constitution, not least as regards transport infrastructure.

You see, it can be done. But it requires a coherent policy rather than a catchy slogan.

In freshly published research, IPPR North have revealed the extent to which the North of England lags behind not only the South-East but most of the developed world in terms of investment.

Only Greece has a lower level of public and private investment than the North. Levelling up anyone?

Please read: North of England ‘would rank second worst for investment’ if OECD country


Explain why the north east of England has suffered relative economic decline

The North East of England has suffered relative economic decline due to a number of factors. One of the main reasons is the decline of traditional industries such as shipbuilding, coal mining, and steel production. These industries were the main sources of employment in the region, but as they declined, so did the region's economy. Additionally, the North East has not seen the same level of investment in new industries and technology as other regions of the country, which has hindered its economic growth. Other factors such as a lack of infrastructure and a shortage of skilled workers have also contributed to the region's economic decline.

Explain what is meant by levelling up as an economic policy in the UK

"Levelling up" is a term used to describe an economic policy in the UK that aims to reduce regional disparities and improve the economic prospects of areas that have been left behind. It is focused on investing in infrastructure, education and training, and other initiatives that will help to create jobs and boost economic growth in these areas. The goal is to create a more balanced and equitable economy in which all regions of the country share in the benefits of growth. The term has been used and popularized by the current UK Prime Minister and his government as part of his party's manifesto in the last general election. The policy is still in its early stage, and the government is still in the process of outlining the specifics of how it will be implemented.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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