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Wales falling further behind London two years after ‘levelling up’ promise, analysis shows

12 May 2022 2 minute read
A community in the Welsh valleys (left). Picture by Biggs (CC BY 2.0). The City of London (right).

Most of Wales is falling further behind London rather than ‘levelling up’, a new analysis by Bloomberg News has shown.

Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to reduce regional inequality, the gap between London and the rest of the UK has widened, the statistics show.

Only three Welsh constituencies have seen any kind of ‘levelling up’ – Monmouth, Caerphilly and Islwyn. Cardiff Central and Cardiff North were ahead in 2019 but were now falling behind. The rest of Wales was behind and falling behind further still.

On total government spending, Wales had shrunk 8% since 2019 while London had grown by 1.8%. On government spending on transportation, Wales had shrunk 12.9% while London had grown 7%.

Home affordability is getting worse nearly everywhere. Ceredigion had seen the biggest drop at 16.7%.

“More than two years on, in a period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, most of the places that lagged behind London and the South East of England when Johnson came to power have seen little sign of better times,” Bloomberg News, which conducted the analysis, said.

“In fact, they’re more likely to be falling further behind.”

Labour has criticised the figures, saying that they show that the ‘levelling up’ promise has amounted to “three years of broken promises and empty slogans”.

The UK Government responded: “These findings highlight the vital importance and urgency of levelling up across the country as we recover from the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our Levelling Up white paper sets out a long-term plan for spreading opportunity and reversing inequality by working across central and local government and the public and private sector.”


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Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago

I bet the European Union would have treated Wales better and fairer.

We left the wrong union and Labour joined with the Tories and let this happen.

Dave
Dave
4 months ago

Reported by Bloomberg News? why hasn’t the Scum sorry Sun reported this? Oh I forgot they are a mere comic that is read by the gullible #boycottthesun

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

“Levelling up” was, and is, just a slogan, like “oven ready deal” and “super seven” Brexit bills. They have as much of an economic and social impact on Cymru as ” shut that door” and “nice to see you, to see you nice”. Anyone gullible enough to believe these Tory one liners needs to have a chat with a doctor.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
4 months ago

I’m concerned that the report and tone of the few early comments play the wicked English card again.
It is true that the Boris government has no time or respect for Wales and the sooner we leave the cesspit, the better.
BUT – levelling up (or whatever trendy word is used) is fundamentally about economic growth and those powers lie with the Senedd.

Marc
Marc
4 months ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

I don’t see any “Wicked English” sentiment in the comments, Wicked Tories certainly. I agree the Senedd has a major roll to play in Wales economic fortunes, but without the ability to control our own taxes we are hostage to the Westminster government.

Cynan
Cynan
4 months ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Y Senedd never used the slogan. Never made the empty promises. The Tories promised Cymru that they would replace the monies lost when we were tricked out of the EU. They lied. There is no part of this which is the responsibility of Y Senedd. Our government is responsible for those areas of the economy devolved to us (which have not been stolen back by Westminster) but it has no responsibility to fulfil empty referendum lies from the proven liar, criminal and fraudster in Westminster. And yes, he is English. Leading a party interested only in parts of England, in… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

The Conservatives idea of levelling-up Wales differs greatly to England. And where hundreds of billions is spent on numerous mega infrastructure builds using the lame excuse of how “it’s beneficial to Britain” Wales gets thrown crumbs off the English table. This vicious circle will never change unless we as Welsh people awake from our British stupor to realise that we’ve been being taken for mugs all these years. Wake up Wales! 🤬🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
4 months ago

Martin Kettle (going off the boil) in today’s Graun:

“As a result, the UK seems merely to be testing itself, if not to destruction, then certainly to something close to dissolution. This is happening on a daily basis in Scotland, where the SNP tries endlessly to manoeuvre itself into a referendum winning position, and sometimes in Wales too.”

Ignore the pomp: thanks to Boris Johnson, Britain has never been less united | Martin Kettle | The Guardian

_______

I didn’t know that the SNP were ‘on manoeuvres” in my country …

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
4 months ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

PS I’m STILL waiting for the Guardian to remote the agreement reached between Mark Drakeford and Adam Price regarding the new proposals for our (expanded) Senedd, earlier this week. I fear I will still be waiting …

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