Abstracts: September 12th, 2007

This report from the Institute for Public Policy Research North analyses investments and outputs in the North East of England over the last decade. It shows that while public investment has resulted in improvements in the region, stark variations sub-regionally are preventing the North East from improving its regional standing relative to other regions.

The North East received the highest amount of public spending per person on public services in England in 2006/07, with the exception of London. The region received 8,177 pounds per person, over 1,000 pounds more per person than the English average of 7,121 pounds. In 2006 the North East received the highest spending of any English region on health, employment policy and social protection, and the second highest for public order and safety and education and training.

The report reveals wide variations in outcomes. While 69 per cent of children in Gateshead passed 5 GCSEs A-C in 2005/6, the number doing so in Middlesbrough was only 48 per cent . Men in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough have the lowest life expectancy at 74.1 years whereas men living in Berwick upon Tweed have the highest at 78.5 years. Women in Hartlepool have the lowest life expectancy in the region at 78.3 years whereas for women in Berwick upon Tweed it is 83 years.

The report is the first submission to the newly created Commission on Public Service Reform in the North East.

The report and details about the Commission are available at: www.ippr.org/north