My contention is that the UK's government is centralised way beyond what's typical in similar countries. That in turn means that most of the top private sector jobs are in the South East, not because of market forces but as an inevitable response to where big government is located. From that follows our inability to sort out transport and urban sprawl. The figures are from the current issue of Chartered Secretary.
London: population share 12.2%; job share 56.7%
Southeast: population share 13.6%; job share 24.4%
East: population share 9.2%; job share 3.3%
Southwest: population share 8.4%; job share 1.1%
West Midlands: population share 9%; job share 1.1%
East Midlands: population share 7.1%; job share 4.5%
Wales: population share 4.9%; job share NIL
Yorkshire: population share 8.4%; job share 1.1%
Northwest: population share 11.4%; job share NIL
Northeast: population share 4.3%; job share 3.3%
Scotland: population share 8.6%; job share 4.5%
Northern Ireland: population share 2.9%; job share NIL
So London and the Southeast with 25.8% of the UK's population have 81% of these pretty high-powered jobs.
As I wrote back in 2002:
If we want to see a more economically balanced Britain we can either reduce government expenditure to, say, 10% of GDP, or we can spread government more evenly throughout the country. I support the first option. I suspect that neither will be implemented.No wonder Alex Salmond is smiling.