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