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How To Fix 'The North'?

I'm going to take the opposing position. And for the record I was born in the north and lived/worked in the south for years.

London's probably one of the most successful and richest places on the planet, it's only rival on the global scale is New York. The only part of the UK that actually has a net contribution to the countries finances. Why take this money away and spend even more taxpayer money on useless vanity projects in the north that will have little benefit? London has been successful due to the entrepreneurial mindset and the willing to graft hard, not by sitting around blaming Thatcher for the last 40 years. Just like south Wales there is an atmosphere up here of blaming London and the SE for the regions own failings in adapting to the changing world. Manufacturing has gone. Heavy industry has gone. Mining has gone. Man up and start paying your own way instead of trying to live off of subsidies from the productive and profitable SE.

If that were true, then the Germans should only invest in Berlin, the French in Paris, the Dutch in Amsterdam, the Italians in Rome, and the Aussies in Sydney. All are major financial and commerce centers.

That this is not true in those countries suggests to me that it is probably not true in the UK either.
 

endure

GCM
More like being proactive by getting into the lifeboat when trouble arrived rather than standing on deck like a little lost sheep waiting to be told which one to get in and when while the ship sinks round you.
I live in a place that generates more foreign income than anywhere else in the UK apart from the City of London and we do it by making stuff...
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
If that were true, then the Germans should only invest in Berlin, the French in Paris, the Dutch in Amsterdam, the Italians in Rome, and the Aussies in Sydney. All are major financial and commerce centers.

That this is not true in those countries suggests to me that it is probably not true in the UK either.
Taxpayers in London/SE already massively subside public spending in the rest of the UK. What the new changes are doing is not finding additional money for viable schemes in the north (which is good), but instead stripping money from viable schemes in the SE and wasting it on unviable schemes in the north simply to buy votes.
 

WightMivvi

War Hero
Move a few government departments up there and actually build and deliver the green projects there rather than awarding contracts to Danish/German companies.
Ah, good idea but...

apparently, in deprived areas, government jobs attract the best candidates, meaning the private sector have the lower qualified and less capable candidates. This is due to public sector jobs having national pay scales: what is poorly paid down south is a bloody good wage up north (or on the Isle of Wight ;) ). Therefore, public sector jobs up north are a bad idea as it reduces the talent available for the economically profitable private sector.
 

endure

GCM
Taxpayers in London/SE already massively subside public spending in the rest of the UK. What the new changes are doing is not finding additional money for viable schemes in the north (which is good), but instead stripping money from viable schemes in the SE and wasting it on unviable schemes in the north simply to buy votes.
transport.JPG
 
How many UK companies have HQ in London where they report their profits even though those profits are made elsewhere in the country?

I assume that is a question (the ?) rather than a statement but the answer is probably nearly all of the FTSE companies.

And most of the rest.

Off the top of my head I cannot think of many large companies that have their HO outside London. ASDA (Leeds) and B&Q (Eastleigh) are the only ones that spring to mind (although I am sure there are a few others).

Vodafone's registered office is Newbury but the HO is in London.

Midland Bank was HO'd in Sheffield but is now HSBC in London.

An interesting supplementary question is how many transnational companies are HO'd in London but report their profits from global operations here. Dozens of them.

Plus, among non-European countries, about 37% are US companies with their European HO in London (with Japan second at 29%). A Deloitte's survey of foreign companies showed 40% of them chose London for their HO (with Paris second at 8%).

The objective should be to enhance the north, not screw up London/the SE.
 
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cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
Obviously its higher in London as there are 10 million highly paid people needing to move round. Given that the average Londonder subsidises the rest of the UK by over £3k per person its pretty essential to keep them moving and keep the taxes coming to pay for the rest of the country.

 
More like being proactive by getting into the lifeboat when trouble arrived rather than standing on deck like a little lost sheep waiting to be told which one to get in and when while the ship sinks round you.
We just need cnûts to stop standing on our fingers when we try to pull ourselves into the lifeboat. If that’s really what you think then it’s no wonder this country is fcûked.
 
Obviously its higher in London as there are 10 million highly paid people needing to move round. Given that the average Londonder subsidises the rest of the UK by over £3k per person its pretty essential to keep them moving and keep the taxes coming to pay for the rest of the country.

Yes and if the jobs were moved out of London, where would those taxes go to? The other areas of the UK where the jobs move to. Plus service industries in other regions of the UK would expand to serve the moved jobs and thus the country would benefit even more. Instead of the potential service industry people in the regions being on the dole (and not paying taxes).

Or you could commute with all the other lemmings into central London for the 40 years of your working life and subsidise regional unemployment and the dole with your taxes. Tough choice?
 
Obviously its higher in London as there are 10 million highly paid people needing to move round. Given that the average Londonder subsidises the rest of the UK by over £3k per person its pretty essential to keep them moving and keep the taxes coming to pay for the rest of the country.


That 2018/19 data is also heavily skewed by time.

Much of the London spend is tied up in Crossrail and will disappear when it is finished.

If anyone is milking it and getting more than their fair share of the porridge then it is the Scots.

Intriguingly the South East is fairly low down the list, despite at least 20% of UK trade going through Dover/M2/M20/M26/M25 (probably higher if you exclude petrochemicals).
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
Yes and if the jobs were moved out of London, where would those taxes go to? The other areas of the UK where the jobs move to. Plus service industries in other regions of the UK would expand to serve the moved jobs and thus the country would benefit even more. Instead of the potential service industry people in the regions being on the dole (and not paying taxes).

Or you could commute with all the other lemmings into central London for the 40 years of your working life and subsidise regional unemployment and the dole with your taxes. Tough choice?
When the highly skilled and highly paid professionals simply change jobs in London rather than uproot their families and social lives there won't be any tax benefit to the regions. Good luck trying to find a £200k M&A specialist in Rotherham or a £750k barrister in Chorley!
 

endure

GCM
I assume that is a question (the ?) rather than a statement but the answer is probably nearly all of the FTSE companies.

And most of the rest.

Off the top of my head I cannot think of many large companies that have their HO outside London. ASDA (Leeds) and B&Q (Eastleigh) are the only ones that spring to mind (although I am sure there are a few others).

Vodafone's registered office is Newbury but the HO is in London.

Midland Bank was HO'd in Sheffield but is now HSBC in London.
Slight pedantry. HSBC's UK HO is now in Birmingham. Their global HO is in London.
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
That 2018/19 data is also heavily skewed by time.

Much of the London spend is tied up in Crossrail and will disappear when it is finished.

If anyone is milking it and getting more than their fair share of the porridge then it is the Scots.

Intriguingly the South East is fairly low down the list, despite at least 20% of UK trade going through Dover/M2/M20/M26/M25 (probably higher if you exclude petrochemicals).
The link in the article shows the SE being only second to London.


Agree about the scots, the pain is only going to get worse for them as the north sea oil cash-cow is in its death rattle.
 
When the highly skilled and highly paid professionals simply change jobs in London rather than uproot their families and social lives there won't be any tax benefit to the regions. Good luck trying to find a £200k M&A specialist in Rotherham or a £750k barrister in Chorley!
And when the firms that move out of London can then undercut the competition in London to win work due to considerably lower overheads in the regions, who is going to be paying these big salaries?

Edit: Just as firms are finding they don't need offices in centre of towns and cities all over the country, so are firms finding they don't need to be based in London. One could argue that being based in London is a vanity project in and of itself - and a very expensive one at that.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I haven’t read the whole thread but this is a subject area that I’m currently working on.

The company I work for is the biggest employer in my region by quite a long way. As such whatever we do has a pretty big socio-economic impact on the local area. With the closure of the pits, there isn’t much else going on unless you’re a farmer or you work in tourism.

If we make redundancies, it has a massive effect on the local area. Likewise, we are a massive drain on other sectors up here, like teaching and the NHS. Why be a teacher on 28 grand a year when you can work where I am and earn double that?

As such the schools are shit and local services are very badly effected.

To offset this, we invest a lot of money in the local economy. We back new ventures and startups, sponsor local sports teams and send high performing individuals on secondments to smaller companies for free.

For the past few years we have started to really look at what the future holds locally. Our business won’t be around forever. When we start to ramp down and inevitably shrink, we don’t want the local area to implode through lack of jobs and money.

This is why we’re so big in helping other businesses expand, so they can mature and start bringing something to the party too. The idea is, when we shrink to 10% of our current size, there will be a thriving hub and Center of excellence locally that will pick up the other 90%.

However......

Covid has changed everything. No one envisaged the big remote working revolution to happen for at least another decade or two. But it’s happening now. Everyone is realising they can work from home. Businesses have realised they don’t need to waste money on running expensive offices. As this revolution takes hold, the southeastcentric country we live in will change. People only live down there because it’s close to where they work.

No one actually chooses to live in Luton or Slough because it’s a nice place.

Suddenly you’ve got a ton of people who no longer need to get the tube into central London everyday. This means they can move further away, to places they actually want to live, instead of places that are close to where they work.

All these mugs who currently live in half a million quid semis in the Home Counties, are gonna up sticks and buy mansions up here, or in the West Country or Wales. Why wouldn’t you? The south is an overcrowded shit hole where English is the second language.

By way of example my sister and her husband live in a tiny 2 bed house in Leighton Buzzard, with shitty neighbours and a gypsy camp a mile or two down the road. Rent is around a grand a month. They both work locally and their choice to live there is entirely dictated by the fact it’s convenient for commuting.

Since Covid they‘re both able to work from home. There is no real logical reason for them to live there anymore, paying extortionate rent, for a shoebox. A grand a month up here gets you 4 - 5 bedrooms and maybe some farmland. It gets you fresh air, space, low crime rates, cheaper insurance, nicer people, a better way of life.

It’s only a matter of time before they, and millions of others in the same situation, abandon the south.

I’ve got mates in their 30s, earning decent money but living in house shares with random strangers because it’s the only way they can afford to live down there. People on 80k a year having to write their name on their milk so their housemates don’t nick it.

All these beauty spots and rural areas will become the preferred places to live. Everyone who can work remotely will start to migrate away from the South East. With them the service industries will follow. More restaurants and pubs and shops to look after these remote workers. There will be a natural spread to the countryside and things will even out.

It will take time, but it will happen.
 
Slight pedantry. HSBC's UK HO is now in Birmingham. Their global HO is in London.

So it is. I stand corrected.

They were clients of mine for about fifteen years but not for 8 years, so I am out of touch. I didn't know they had HO'd HSBC UK to Brum.

The global HO of HSBC Holdings plc is still Canada Square so the general point still stands.
 
@Ravers - a firm like yours is exactly what this country needs, looking to the future rather than this years profit. Well done, more power to you.
 
The link in the article shows the SE being only second to London.


Agree about the scots, the pain is only going to get worse for them as the north sea oil cash-cow is in its death rattle.

I was merely going by the table in the post, which showed the SE was sixth. If a dive into the data says otherwise then the table should have been amended.

But the original point about time dependency still stands. The SE is currently reasonably well served in transport infrastructure with a halfway decent motorway network. It would probably have been top when the M25 was being built.
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
Since Covid they‘re both able to work from home. There is no real logical reason for them to live there anymore, paying extortionate rent, for a shoebox. A grand a month up here gets you 4 - 5 bedrooms and maybe some farmland. It gets you fresh air, space, low crime rates, cheaper insurance, nicer people, a better way of life.
I can see that happening for families possibly, but not with youngesters who want the excitment and social life that comes from living near/in a global city. If you're a 25 year old single professional with an active social life i'm not sure a 4 bed detached in Cumbria would be that appealing.
 
I can see that happening for families possibly, but not with youngesters who want the excitment and social life that comes from living near/in a global city. If you're a 25 year old single professional with an active social life i'm not sure a 4 bed detached in Cumbria would be that appealing.
Eldest son and his missus lived and worked in London for about 5 years. Couldn't wait to get out. They live near Bristol now in a house they could NEVER have afforded in London. Daughter and husband currently live in London for work but have just announced they're moving to Norn Iron (of all places) so he can go to uni in a very nice flat his mum and dad own. She'll be WFH for her firm in London, with maybe the occasional flight over to the smoke. Even with him at uni and presumably not earning (much?) for 3 years, they'll be quids in. And they won't be in the cesspit that is London.

Edit: Further to @Ravers post above, as the exodus from the south east goes on, it will become increasingly difficult to sell the half million quid semi - eventually there won't be buyers for it. So if you live down there, I'd be seriously tempted to GTF out before that starts to happen. Just saying.
 
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