“London is the greatest city in the world.” It’s the capital of Europe, one of the world’s financial hubs, and is packed with culture.
But it’s been said that the UK is one of the most centralised developed countries in the world - the Taxpayers’ Alliance and Finance Chief Sharon White numbering amongst those making the claim.
But how much does the UK actually rely on London?
In 2015, London welcomed 17.4 million international (not even domestic) tourists to its streets. In terms of productivity, London leads the way - Gross Value Added to the UK economy per hour worked is far higher in London than the rest of the country - £127.2 compared to £99 in Bristol, the second highest.
The UK also has the greatest pay disparity in the European Union - with Londoners earning an average of 23,500 PPCS units, and those in the West Midlands only 12,900. It’s no wonder that Undergraduate students move there en masse after finishing their studies - further compounding the stark difference between London and the rest of the UK.
A soundbite: London generates more than a fifth of the UK’s income. With the recent Transport for London ruling promising not to renew Uber’s contract in the capital, are we seeing evidence that London isn’t ‘as open for business’ as the government, and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, would like the world to think?