Analysis by the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) has revealed that the Government’s aim of levelling-up the UK will fail if it only focuses on factors traditionally believed to hinder prosperity.
By applying metrics from the UK’s first citizen-led Local Prosperity Index (the Index) to existing secondary datasets, the IGP has established that all nine English regions score low on at least one of the five factors that people require to live secure and prosperous lives.
Using citizen-led research the IGP developed the Index to reflect what people say either improves or limits their prosperity. The metrics in the Index contrast sharply with the conventional measures of prosperity - productivity, pay, employment levels, educational attainment, and investment in infrastructure - that the Government propose to use to measure progress against its twelve Levelling-Up missions.
Commenting IGP Founder and Director, Professor Henrietta Moore said
“Livelihood security depends on a set of interconnected, interdependent ‘assets’ and cannot focus solely to income and work. Despite this successive Governments repeatedly set targets for job creation or house building believing that the trickle-down effect will improve local prosperity. And the current Government is poised to repeat the mistake.”
“Despite billions of pounds spent on regional regeneration boosting growth, people do not feel their lives are any more prosperous or secure. The only way that will change, is if we start measuring the factors people actually say limit their prosperity. If you do not understand what those factors are from the outset how can you possibly hope to put in place solutions to fix them”.
Despite the Government setting out its proposals for Levelling-Up in the Levelling-Up White Paper earlier this year, the IGP believe there is still an opportunity for local and national government to adopt a citizen-led approach to levelling-up and is already working with a number of local authorities across the UK to achieve this.
“The old methods do not work. We have to redefine prosperity; change how we measure it and be open to different ways of securing it.” Professor Moore.
Photo by Anjana Menon on Unsplash
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