Published on 1 October 2020
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More needs to be done to improve productivity and drive prosperity across the city-region

Independent Prosperity Review states the Greater Manchester City Region has “world-class strengths” but work is needed to reduce social disparities, boost wages and improve productivity.

An expert panel chaired by Professor Diane Coyle, has updated the Independent Prosperity Review on the current state and future of Greater Manchester’s economy, to take into account the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic.

The review concludes that the city-region has world-class strengths but action is needed to reduce social disparities, boost wages and improve productivity.

Professor Coyle took part in an interactive webinar launching the review with Stephanie Flanders from the Independent Prosperity Review Panel and the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, to discuss the challenges facing Greater Manchester, and city regions across the UK.

Says Coyle: “The centralisation of policy-making in Whitehall has contributed to weaknesses in the UK’s economic performance. Productivity, and therefore living standards, in London and the South East of England are higher than every other part of the country.

“To increase the UK’s national level of productivity will require everywhere to improve: if productivity is only increasing in London, this will be no more sustainable than a plane flying on just one engine, either politically or in terms of economic growth.

“Productivity has an impact not just on the economy, but on people’s quality of life. Further devolution of powers is urgently needed to deliver sustained improvements in living standards for the people of Greater Manchester.”

Watch the webinar, City limits? Living with, and recovering from, covid-19.

Read the Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review: One Year On (pdf) 

The University of Cambridge is one of eight leading consortium members of the new  Productivity Institute, funded by the ESRC. The Bennett Institute will lead the Cambridge hub where Professor Coyle will head up the strand on Knowledge Capital: the ideas that drive productivity and progress, and Professor Michael Kenny will lead a project on devolution, governance and productivity.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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