London has seen the highest increase in public spending since the government’s flagship levelling up agenda was introduced, while the north has fallen further behind.
IPPR North, a branch of the Institute for Public Policy research, has revealed the spending gap between the north and the capital has doubled since 2019.
When the Conservatives promised to level up the country in their election manifesto three years ago, the spending gap between the north and London was £1,513 per person. Last year that gap increased to £3,008 per person.
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Marcus Johns, a research fellow at IPPR North, said the “money simply didn’t follow the levelling up rhetoric” as the country “became more centralised and inequalities widened”.
Spending remains lower in the north than in other parts of the country, and it also saw the lowest increase. In 2021, total public spending on the north was £16,223 per person, an increase of 17 per cent on 2019. This is lower than the average of £16,309 per person in England, an increase of 20 per cent since 2019.
London saw the highest public spending per person in 2021, at £19,231. That’s an increase of 25 per cent over the course of the levelling up agenda, which aimed to reduce regional inequalities across the country.