Wednesday, 27 March 2013

London is for foreigners

There are more and more stories appearing where councils are releasing property to building associations for a £1. The general picture of property value in the UK is going down, except in London, where it has risen 19% since the financial crisis. This is the one and only location where property prices are on the rise and it appears that this is where the foreign money goes.

Lord Heseltine wrote a report last year "no stone unturned" which highlighted the issue of centralisation and how the provincial cities could do with more powers to enable the UK to creep out of recession, localism as he put it. This report was widely accepted although I do not see much action happening, which is not surprising as it is going to be difficult for the civil service in London to release it's grip on power voluntarily.

It has been five years since the start of the financial crisis and three years since the coalition started their plan for recovery labelled "plan A" by the critics, and the time scale is getting extended as previous forecasts are not working out as expected. Just handing over power to the provincials overnight is unreasonable and impractical, perhaps a slower more gradual approach could be effective as it appears we have the time to make a start moving towards creating LEP's [Local Enterprise Partnerships].

This of course is only one route as there are several which need to be taken to deal with the current situation, but surely it cannot be a bad idea to put in place more opportunities for unemployment to be reduced. I have a worry that unemployment will hit 50% in Cyprus with their current situation, and there is no precedent available to show how the Island’s economy will cope with such a huge problem. The UK’s unemployment is about 7%, consider how bad things would be if it rocketed.

People need work, work comes from employers, employers need confidence to hire, confidence comes from a strong economy, our economy is not strong at the moment and needs a significant boost. Enabling LEP’s across the country would release the central burden and utilise the enthusiasm of the local population of each province.

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