MPs launch inquiry after Chancellor Philip Hammond makes the surprising admission
The Treasury has no way of knowing whether regions of England are in a recession, Chancellor Philip Hammond has admitted.
He said the Government only collected the relevant data for the UK as a whole – even though there are huge disparities between the economic performance of different parts of the country.
MPs on the influential House of Commons Treasury Committee have now launched an inquiry looking at the failure to collect information about the economies of different regions.
They will ask whether this helps explain why the huge wealth gap between north and south has been allowed to continue.
Committee members include Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell, who said economic differences between regions “have become even clearer” in recent years.
Writing for ChronicleLive, she said: “As the Government Department responsible for increasing employment and productivity, ensuring strong growth and competitiveness across all regions of the UK, it was pretty disconcerting when the Chancellor recently told us the Treasury does not have the data required to measure whether regional economies are growing or shrinking – or perhaps in recession whilst the country as a whole is not.
“In which case, how can we possibly be sure that some parts of the country aren’t being left behind?”
With many thanks to the: Chronicle Live and Jonathan Walker for the original story