A new interactive map has shown Brits are, on average, £10,000 worse off today than a decade ago, with several locations showing child poverty and worse incomes
Brits are £10,000 poorer today than a decade ago, according to a new map showing the worst hit places in the UK.
The report by Centre for Cities shows the average person in the city has missed out on a total of £45,240 over the last 14 years, as a result of lower levels of growth. Aberdeen has been hardest hit of the UK’s 63 largest cities and towns included in the analysis, while Burnley was named worse off in England, where the average person was £28,090 worse off since 2010.
In London, gross disposable income is £13,590 lower than if it had grown in line with 1998-2010 trends. Middlesbrough and Sunderland experienced similar average shortfalls of £13,200 and £12,730 per head. People in Cardiff were £13,080 worse off on average.
The report says the amount we pay on housing has also worsened and eaten into people’s disposable incomes. The proportion of children living in relative poverty has risen in almost every city since 2014, with a particular increase in in-work poverty. In 2021 there were six cities, all in the North and the Midlands, where over a third of children are from households in relative poverty – as recently as 2014, there were none. In Birmingham, there was an increase of 60,000 children living in relative poverty over that period.
Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “Everywhere, up and down the country, including places doing relatively well before, has been levelled down because of the lack of growth. To get growth in every place, the next Government needs to act at a radically different pace and scale, and mark the beginning of a multi-decade policy programme.
“The first step in a realistic approach to grow the economy is to recognise the British economy is an urban economy. There is no plausible way of achieving higher growth without increasing the innovation and dynamism of urban Britain.
“This means reforming the planning system to enable cities to grow, devolving more powers and financial freedoms to encourage our big cities to make decisions that support growth, and following the levelling up rhetoric with bold actions.”
Only seven places – Aldershot, Bristol, Derby, Northampton, Slough, Telford and York – are now better off, which has been explained by underwhelming growth in the 1998-2010 period.
Centre for Cities say this shortfall has happened because while the UK has experienced a jobs boom since 2010, this has not been accompanied by productivity growth. By 2022, there were 4.6 million extra jobs in the UK than there were in 2010, considerably more than the 2.5 million created between 1998 and 2010.
A Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to levelling-up every corner of the UK, investing billions to support community regeneration projects, connecting 25.7 million premises with gigabit broadband and over 50% of England is now covered by a devolution deal.
“We have halved the number of people on low pay with increases in the National Living wage and thanks to above inflation increase to tax allowances, we have also saved the average earner over £1,000 a year since 2010. We did so after two massive global shocks – Covid and Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine – which affected every economy worldwide. And yet, the UK has grown faster than Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Japan.”