Lost jobs, lower wages and families in poverty: How the North of England has been hit by public spending cuts

A report has been published by IPPR North. Pictures: PA and JPI Media.
A report has been published by IPPR North. Pictures: PA and JPI Media.

The North of England has been hit hardest by cuts in public spending, as a report reveals that millions live in poverty across this area of the country.

Total public spending in the North has fallen by £6.3 billion since 2009/10, according to an in-depth study. This is more than in any other region.

The North has been hit hardest by cuts in public spending while the South has seen an increase in government money, according to an in-depth study. Picture: PA.

The North has been hit hardest by cuts in public spending while the South has seen an increase in government money, according to an in-depth study. Picture: PA.

Meanwhile, the South East and South West have seen a £3.2 billion rise, according to IPPR North.

The think tank's State Of The North 2018 report, which covers the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber regions, calls on northern political leaders to push the Northern Powerhouse agenda amid the distraction of "Westminster Brexit chaos".

The Northern Powerhouse was an idea launched five years ago by then chancellor George Osborne, focused on core cities to increase the productivity of city-regions thereby spreading wealth and opportunity.

Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield were highlighted as the key cities.

The Houses of Parliament. Picture: PA.

The Houses of Parliament. Picture: PA.

How the North has been affected

Fifteen million people live in the country's Northern regions - and the report has revealed that two million working-age adults and a million children live in poverty.

Many of the neighbourhoods with the lowest life expectancy are found in the North, including Sunderland, Salford and Bradford.

The lowest male life expectancy in England is in Blackpool, at the age of 68. The England average is 79.

Weekly pay has fallen by £21 in the North since 2008 in real terms, while 300,00 government jobs have been lost since 2009.

Eight of the 10 worst-hit police forces are also in the North.

Over the last decade, London has received twice as much transport spending per heard than the UK average or the North.

The capital also received 41.1% of all Arts Council England national portfolio grant funding in the 2018-22 programme.

What the report is calling for

This year's annual IPPR North report says the next stage of the Northern Powerhouse plan should aim for more devolution.

It should put more power in the hands of city mayors, support job creation and investment and also focus on towns and rural areas.

Sarah Longlands, Director of IPPR North, said: "The North has started to see the impacts of the Northern Powerhouse agenda most noticeably with the elected mayors, the growing recognition of the North's external profile and the creation of Transport for the North.

"However too many of the North's people and places are yet to feel the benefits.

"Many families depend upon precarious and poorly paid jobs and levels of healthy life expectancy in many areas constrain the opportunities of people to play an active role in their local economy.

"Now is the time to develop the Northern Powerhouse agenda in to a plan which works for the people of the North providing them with opportunities to share in the potential economic opportunities of the future."

What the Government had to say

In response to the report, the Government said the North was "thriving" with a record number of people in work.

A spokesman added: "Never before has it had such a powerful local voice, following the election of four new metro mayors, and a fifth on the way, who we have empowered to champion their communities and build on this success.

"We are also backing the whole of the Northern Powerhouse with £3.4 billion to boost local economic growth and a record £13 billion in transport improvements, meaning almost £250 per person - more than any other region - will be invested next year to help commuters and motorists across the North."