The Legatum Institute’s UK Prosperity Index was launched on the 12 October 2022, with the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP and the Legatum Institute’s CEO Baroness Stroud undertaking a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the nation, economic growth, the future of health care and family breakdown.
Mr Javid underlined that preventative action and early interventions are the key to the future of health care and called on the Government to expedite the publication of the health disparities White Paper, saying that: “dealing with health disparities is really good economics too, both for the state’s finance and for the individual. You can see the difference that good health makes for economic outcome. It’s circular: if you don’t have good health in the neighbourhood then you do not get economic growth and jobs and opportunities and then you have poor health. We could do this.”
He went on to talk about the decline of family. While acknowledging that there are no easy ways of turning family policy around, he suggested that government departments could have a statutory duty to report on the impacts of their policies on family life in the UK.
On welfare and the economy, he argued that the Government should uprate benefits in line with inflation, and he emphasised that economic growth must be the central priority
Mr Javid was speaking at the report launch of the Legatum Institute’s UK Prosperity Index. The UK Prosperity Index is a tool to better map and monitor the pathways to prosperity for all regions and local authorities of the UK. It includes detailed data on levels of institutional, economic, and social wellbeing across the 374 boroughs, council areas, local government districts, and unitary and local authorities that encompass the four nations of the UK. The Index is specifically designed to be a transformational tool that allows citizens, local authorities, regions, and government to sharpen their understanding of what is working, track their progress over time, and hold leaders to account.
This year’s report provides in-depth analysis of the success of the Levelling Up agenda and the challenge that the UK Government face to turn the situation around.
The report was introduced at the event by the Legatum Institute’s Baroness Stroud and Johnny Patterson. It states that:
“The new administration must take the hard choices necessary to kickstart stagnating productivity and address widespread disparities, from healthcare to social capital. Furthermore, context specific
strategies are needed that account for specific regional strengths and challenges across the UK. Each sector of society must be released to play its part. The Government must remove barriers for business through planning reform, and by rationalising regulations. Power should be devolved to local authorities and civil society leaders must be empowered, inspired and released to help shift mindsets in regions across the UK.
We need a major step change if the Governme
nt is to succeed in shifting the dial. This year is a critical one in the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda. As the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill comes into law and the White Paper starts to be put into practice, this is the moment when key decisions about what Levelling Up will mean are decided and put into operation. Rhetoric must be turned into action.”