There will be two strands to the inquiry. Firstly, the Committee will examine the nature of regional imbalances in economic growth which currently exist in the UK.
Secondly, the Committee will establish what regional data is currently available in the UK, how it could be used more effectively in policy development, and whether there should be official regional economic forecasts produced.
The Committee will start accepting written evidence on its website from today until 2 August.
Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:
“Members of the Treasury Committee represent constituencies from all over the country. What has become abundantly clear during my time as Chair are the disparities and differences that exist between the areas we represent.
“Whether it be a divide between north and south, towns and cities, or urban and rural, people experience the chasm which exists between various parts of the UK through their day to day lives. For example, differences not just in economic growth and income, but also in health and educational outcomes and the quality of infrastructure.
“As part of this inquiry, we’ll examine why this is the case, what the effects are in terms of imbalances, such as wages and employment, and how successful regional programmes have been in promoting regional economic growth.
“The Treasury Committee will seek to identify the disparities and explore how better data can inform policy makers on how best to level the playing field.”
Alison McGovern MP, Member of the Treasury Committee, said:
“We must understand how regional economic performance shapes people’s lives and their perceptions of where they live and work. This inquiry will help build that picture.
“It is not sufficient for the Government to only offer figures on economic success in aggregate terms. I hope this inquiry can show how the Government can get a full picture of the whole of the UK economy in the future.”