Which planet is he on?
According to the Daily Mail (21.6.10) the Osborne budget will set in concrete a three year disadvantage for London, the South East and the East of England.
A bizarre tax break will be given to the rest of Britain – freedom from National Insurance contributions for employers for three years.
The explanation: “The Treasury wants to target parts of the country where people are more reliant on the public sector for work.”
Well perhaps they should all get out more? They quote “just 16 per cent of workers in the South East are employed in the public sector”. Averages are all very well, but it might be worth them focussing on reality:
- Oxford – 46.6% of workers are in public administration, education and health (third of 410 local authorities)
- Cambridge – 43.8% (5th)
- Hastings – 42.2% (7th)
- Canterbury – 39.9% 11th)
- Eastbourne – 37.6% (25th)
In London we have :
- Lewisham – 38.8% (19th)
- Redbridge – 38.3% (21st)
- Greenwich – 37.5% (26th)
In the East of England there is:
- South Norfolk – 34.8%
- Southend on Sea – 33.5%
- Ipswich – 32.8%
and so it goes on – none of them near the 16% quoted.
London and the South East account for a third of Britain’s GDP. Productivity rates are substantially higher than in the rest of the UK – what on earth is the motive for this approach?
Answers on a postcard …