POLITICS
15/11/2013 05:15 GMT | Updated 15/11/2013 05:19 GMT

George Osborne Having 'No Impact' On Growth Outside Of London, Warns Top Professor

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his keynote speech on the second day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central in Manchester.

George Osborne's plans to get growth going outside of London are having "absolutely no impact", a top professor has warned.

LSE professor of economic geography Henry Overman said that initiatives like the £3.2 billion Regional Growth Fund, which was set up to encourage growth in the regions, was having "no effect" and merely "increasing the size of the worst-performing players".

Speaking at the IPD/IPF's annual conference, professor Overman warned that High Speed Rail 2, the controversial rail project which plans to link London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, will "create as many losers as winners" as other cities far from the line will suffer.

The government's Regional Growth Fund was condemned as "scandalous" by MPs last September after it emerged that just £60 million had so far reached businesses.

This comes as official statistics revealed that the 378,000 extra people who had entered work over the last year was mostly comprised people in the South of England (213,00), while the number of people employed in the North East and West actually fell by 49,000.

The 165,000 extra people in work over the last quarter was most represented by the South East (31,000), while the number of people employed in the North West and East dropped by 34,000.

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