80% of new jobs created have been in London
George Osborne says he has a long-term plan for the economy. The truth is that this amounts to little more than a short-term bet on London property prices. Speculators from across the globe are piling in their cash, fuelling skyrocketing prices. These rising property prices have given a gloss of prosperity to parts of the capital.
But this London growth is doing little for the rest of the country. Osborne has boasted about the new jobs being created - but since he came to power, 80% of new private sector jobs created have been in London. And of the new jobs created nationally, four out of five are in low-paid sectors like retail and catering. For those already in work, after allowing for inflation, average earnings have fallen nearly 6% since 2010 - the worst decline in living standards since the 1870s. Borrowing has begun to rise again - but this time with payday lenders.
A tiny minority, heavily concentrated in the richer parts of London, are seeing the fruits of economic growth. Osborne is promoting a bankers' recovery - rising wealth for the 1%, but rising debt for the rest. There are alternatives - an investment programme for renewable energy and public transport could create jobs and a sustainable recovery across the whole country.×