Disposable income lags behind other cities

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People in Sheffield are falling behind when it comes to the money they have left to spend after paying their taxes and to keep a roof over their heads.

According to the Sheffield accountants UHY Wingfield Slater, household disposable income in Sheffield grew by 7.7 per cent in the last five years - higher than Leeds or Derby, but behind the national average of 12 per cent.

Even Barnsley fared better, according to the accountants, with a 10.7 per cent increase.

UHY Wingfield Slater partner John Wingfield said: “Going into the recent recessions, Sheffield’s disposable income was growing slower than that of other parts of the UK.

“This is disappointing, and something that the government in Whitehall needs to take into account.

“While much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, which benefits heavily from public sector spending, boomed, Sheffield didn’t receive as much attention. This makes effective government support for the local economy now all the more important.”

“Major government plans that could help Sheffield, like High Speed 2, will take a long time to arrive. Some shorter-term proposals are needed.”

Mr Wingfield says one way the government could help is by decentralising more of its operations.

UHY Wingfield Slater’s figures are drawn from economic data for the top 40 “Urban Areas” in the UK, ranked by population. That means that Sheffield’s data also includes figures for Rotherham, and Barnsley’s includes the whole of the Dearne Valley.

Doncaster is missing from the analysis. It is ranked 59th in terms of the size of its Urban Area.