Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

In “The leveling-up white paper is a necessary call to arms”, Martin Wolf is right to praise the far-reaching ambitions of the UK government’s white paper and to suggest that Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, should heed that call (OpinionFebruary 7).

For little will be achieved on regional inequality unless a single party approach is replaced by a collaborative one that can endure through several general election cycles. The UK needs some long-term improvement goals around which all parties can agree and compete.

Yet for an approach that claims to be “systemic” and “long term” there are some shocking omissions. The white paper’s list of six capitals ignores natural capital. A credible leveling-up plan has to recognize that economics and nature are not in separate compartments.

A new respect for biodiversity and decarbonisation must be at the heart of efforts to improve productivity and spread wealth.

Mark Goyder
Founder, Tomorrow’s Company
Leiston, Suffolk, UK

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