Can Britain go on like this?
Compare and contrast:
IF small businesses are the future, then London’s place at the heart of the British economy is assured. Figures today reveal that 17 out of the top 20 UK areas for new business creation were located in London in the past year – and remarkably, that Silicon Roundabout was by the far the leading centre for start-ups. Tragically, these figures also confirm that the rest of Britain remains in relative decline, with much of the talent continuing to shift to the capital.
No fewer than 15,720 new businesses were set up in EC1V, the area that includes London’s new technology hub on the fringe of the City, in the year to March, according to UHY Hacker Young. This is promising, though as ever it remains to be seen whether any of these tech firms will grow and thrive, and whether any will become British Googles or Facebooks, truly world-class and world famous.
Other buoyant areas for start-ups include Bishopsgate (EC2) and Canary Wharf (E14), which between them saw 4,900 new businesses set up shop last year.And here:
A third of Britain is effectively off-limits to lower-income working families because private rents are unaffordable, a new report claims.
The report comes from the Resolution Foundation, which campaigns on behalf of low to middle-income families.
It says most of southern England is now beyond the reach of less affluent households.
The Resolution Foundation says this forces people to choose between a decent home and other essentials.
With social housing usually unavailable and home ownership unaffordable for many first-time buyers, renting privately is often the only option for households on lower incomes.
A BBC housing calculator also identifies how renting a modest two-bedroom home for less than £700 a month is almost impossible in London and much of the South East. Modest is defined as having a rent below 75% of similar properties in the area.London and the South-East may be thriving for those at the upper end of the economic scale. But for how long can it rely on a supply of nurses and health assistants, of police constables and postmen, of garage mechanics and supermarket sales assistants, if such people - so necessary to a functioning economy - simply cannot afford a place to live?
Is any of our political leaders even contemplating the need to restore a regionnal balance?