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City MP says Conservatives have ‘levelled down’ Portsmouth as new report shows wage growth in city has fallen since 2010

By 24 January 2024No Comments

City MP Stephen Morgan has said successive Conservative governments have failed Portsmouth as a new report shows people are £10,200 worse off on average in 2021 than they would have been if the economy had grown at pre-2010 trends.

According to the report from Centre for Cities, all parts of the UK including Portsmouth experienced weak disposable income growth since 2010 as a result of economic stagnation.

Between 2004 and 2010, average wages in Portsmouth grew by an average of 4.86% per year but have fallen to 3.28% per year since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

Rates of children in relative poverty have risen in almost every city; and the proportion of children in relative poverty who live in working households has also risen.

The report also found that housing became less affordable in almost every place during the 2010s, with the steepest rises in housing costs in places in the Greater South East that already had high housing costs in 2010.

Portsmouth ranked dead last amongst 63 cities in the report when it came to housing stock growth with an increase of just 0.2% in 2022 – the last year on record – going from  235,420 homes to 235,930.

Portsmouth also ranked in the bottom 10 cities with the lowest start-up rate with 36.1 business start-ups per 10,000 population. In contrast, London has 83.4 and Brighton 70.8 business start-ups per 10,000.

Portsmouth did however rank ninth on the list of cities generating the lowest emissions per capita.

Commenting on the report, Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth is fizzing full of potential but is lagging behind where it should be at the moment because of the Conservatives’ inability to grow our economy and their repeated refusal to invest in our city.  

“After 14 years of Tory government, local people are feeling worse off, while businesses are not being given the support they need to grow and thrive.

“Only a Labour government will ensure our city does not continue to get overlooked. We will back Portsmouth businesses with a new industrial strategy to grow and create more high paid jobs for people in our city and across the country.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Levelling Up Secretary, commenting said:

“For all their promises to level up Britain, the Tories’ 14 years of failure have seen our country levelled down with people left worse off and crying out for change.

“Labour’s mission to return Britain to growth means moving away from the Tories’ failed sticking plaster approach, boosting living standards and good jobs in every part of the country to drive productivity and opportunity.

“Labour is not afraid of making the bold calls needed to change our country, from reforming planning to get Britain building again to delivering a Take Back Control Act to give local leaders the tools to drive growth and contribute to national renewal.”

Since becoming an MP, Mr Morgan has made securing investment for Portsmouth one of his priorities, but under the Conservatives, Portsmouth has repeatedly been overlooked for levelling up funding.

Labour has committed to scrapping regressive business rates to give small businesses the opportunity to thrive, paid for by making sure large corporations pay their way.