This week, in yet another setback to Rishi Sunak‘s efforts to showcase how the Conservatives have created – over a decade and a half – a robust economy, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that monthly growth in April in the UK had flatlined.

The British economy was said to be struggling with a faltering retail sector, a decline in manufacturing, and a reduction in construction output, after a 0.4% rise in March. The City’s pundits appeared to blame the weather and not the cost-of-living crisis for the lack of growth. The consequences of Brexit, as it seems to be so increasingly, was absent from the finger-pointing.

But this news of the parlous state of the British economy comes amidst more of the same. The UK’s labour productivity had increased by just 0.4% annually over the 12 years following the financial crisis – half the average growth rate seen in the 25 wealthiest OECD countries – and has resulted in a cumulative loss of £10,700 in wage growth for the average worker’s annual salary.

Middle-income individuals in the UK are now 20% poorer than their counterparts in Germany and 9% worse off than those in France.

[…] [T]he UK’s parlous goods exports would be far worse if you did not include the UK’s ‘empty calorie’ trading of global gold. If you took out such high frequency precious metals trading, it would mean that the UK’s goods exports are down some £44 billion since 2018. And that the UK’s goods exports are down, the UK’s service exports are up.

[…] The one silver lining in this dire economic news is that service exports are buoying up the UK economy. Indeed, last year the UK ranked second in the world for such exports – including ICT (Information and communication technology), education, culture, and finance.

The leading nation the UK exports such services to is the United States, where the $129.7 billion of services provided equates to over a quarter of the UK’s entire service export economy (27.6%).
[…]
The Lawyer has noted a 41% year on year increase in revenue by the top 50 US law firms in Britain since 2018: a jump from $5.7bn to $8.1bn. Even factoring in inflation, the rise is 13%. According to The Lawyer in 2021, the top American law firm in the UK was Kirkland & Ellis, and whilst their UK company house listings might not capture all of their UK earnings, it shows a 70% declared rise in profits last year.
[…]
Last month, it was reported that another American law firm, Quinn Emanuel, was offering its newly qualified lawyers in London an eye-watering £180,000 a year, an 18% hike from the year before. Those five years out of qualification will see salaries of £290,000. […] To put this all into context, the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, earns £160,976. And the London Living Wage is currently set at £13.15 or, roughly, £27,352 a year.
[…]
The income per person in the UK’s richest local authority – Kensington and Chelsea (£52,500) – now stands at 4.5 times that of the poorest – Nottingham (£11,700).
[…]
Last year, hundreds of homeless families were permanently displaced from London by local councils, with little notice, or choice. The escalating rents in the capital, which have surpassed the local housing allowance (LHA) – the amount private tenants on housing benefits are entitled to for rent, varying by local authority – have driven these forced relocations.

The campaign group Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (HASL) reported in 2023 that 319 households accepted private tenancies outside London. These families were frequently given 24-hour ultimatums by council officials to accept homes outside the capital or risk being classified as “intentionally homeless” for refusing the offer.

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    1 month ago

    The income per person in the UK’s richest local authority – Kensington and Chelsea (£52,500) – now stands at 4.5 times that of the poorest – Nottingham (£11,700).

    A stat to make your blood boil.