Government urged to commit to 'inclusive growth' policy


The benefits of economic growth must be felt across the UK if Theresa May is to fulfil her pledge to make "Britain a country that works for everyone", a think-tank has suggested.

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has called on the Government to pursue a policy of "inclusive growth".

Its new report calls on Chancellor Philip Hammond to make local areas the major beneficiaries of any changes to public spending in the Autumn Statement he is due to deliver on November 23.

Doing so would allow local leaders to invest in projects which could promote economic growth across the country.

The RSA Inclusive Growth Commission, chaired by Stephanie Flanders, sets out in its interim report the importance of "grown-up" devolution deals.

It also identifies a £190 billion "inclusivity gap" which represents how far behind the lowest growth areas in the UK are from the national average.

Ms Flanders said: "The economic system in the UK and other advanced countries is simply not delivering for a large chunk of the population.

"Theresa May seemed to grasp that fundamental reality in her first speech as Prime Minister, committing to 'build a country that works for everyone'.

"But to achieve this, we need a concrete strategy for delivering inclusive growth.

"This report explores how policy would need to change - not just in Whitehall but across the country.

"We would like to see the Chancellor make serious commitments to this agenda in the Autumn Statement in November."

The report suggests that new "grown-up" devolution deals should include control over social policy and provide more funding for social and capital projects.

It suggests smaller towns and cities which have so far not benefited from existing devolution settlements should be included in such moves.

It also calls on the Government to set out in the Autumn Statement how devolution deals will spread prosperity.

Meanwhile, a new and inclusive industrial strategy should focus on generating jobs and work progression in lower and middle skilled sectors.