Sheffield MP: ‘Region needs greater powers to address the challenges we face’

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Sheffield and South Yorkshire has one of the lowest levels of disposable income in the country, new government figures reveal.

Out of 37 Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Sheffield City Region ranks only above the Tees Valley and the Black Country in terms of Gross Domestic Household Income.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley.

The figure is used to measure the amount of money a person has to spend after all their household bills and monthly outgoings have been paid.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh is calling on the government to hand over greater devolution powers to Sheffield and South Yorkshire, moving them away from Westminster to address the ‘challenges’ the region faces.

She also hit out at the economic divide between the ‘wealthy south-east’, London and the Sheffield City Region.

Nine out of the top 10 areas in England all come from southern regions of the country with the highest levels of GDHI.

Office for National Statistics chart comparing different city regions with the average amount of disposable income

Office for National Statistics chart comparing different city regions with the average amount of disposable income

Ms Haigh said: “We have very different challenges here to those faced in the wealthy south-east but because power is concentrated in Westminster we don’t have the tools to tackle them.

“If the government are serious about devolution then it must mean local people having much more power over the decisions which affect our lives.

“How long would people in Westminster put up with falling income, with exploitation at work and with creaking trains and buses to get into work? That’s a daily reality for too many here and we’ve waited far too long for Westminster to fix it for us.

“We need the power here in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to invest in our industries and create the jobs of the future.

“We to tackle exploitation at work and to plough investment into our schools and into our creaking infrastructure. Then we can build a true Northern revival.”

n To see the full table of regions and how they compare, visit www.thestar.co.uk