Public spending dominates the economy of the North of England. In the North-East region, for example, it accounts for close to 70% of GDP. However, the UK is now experiencing the worst fiscal crisis since World War 2 and severe cuts in public spending are necessary. Clearly these reductions are likely to have a disproportionate effect on those areas where government expenditure dominates the economy.
In this feature on Radio 4's Westminster Hour, Richard Wellings argues that regional policy has failed to regenerate the North of England. A better approach would be to remove the artificial barriers to labour mobility that prevent northerners from moving to areas where they would enjoy much greater employment opportunites.
Listen to the broadcast here .
See also: "North to pay heavy price for dependence on public spending"  on the IEA blog.