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The centre cannot hold: we can’t fix productivity until we fix the north-south divide

If the government is serious about the economy, it needs to focus on places beyond London and the South East

By Andrew Carter  

The economy is balanced towards the South East—leaving the rest of the country punching below its weight. Photo: PA

Brexit aside, the biggest issue looming over last week’s Budget and the Government’s new Industrial strategy (published on Monday) was the UK’s productivity problem.

Indeed, before both events the Government had already been seriously hamstrung by the Office for Budget Responsibility’s warning that it had overestimated UK productivity in the past seven years—and that economic output is projected to be lower in the coming years as a result.

It was no…

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