A few months ago, Plaid Cymru argued with the Welsh media that the UK Government’s bail out plans were fashioned to support London and the south-east of England by helping the financial sector but being agnostic about support for the industrial and manufacturing sector in Wales and the midlands and north of England.
In the good times, London wins. In the bad times, London wins.
Last Thursday’s rather smug Evening Standard article, detailing the rise of J Lo-Mos (Job, Low Tracker Mortgage) irritated me immensely as it reminded me that while the effects and fallout of the recession are still ongoing, there are many others for whom it is something that has happened only on the news.
Just to quickly explain.
In writing a blank cheque with few safeguards to the banks, the Labour UK Government propped up the financial sector and jobs in London.
Meanwhile, with the Bank of England interest rate going down, tracker mortgages were also lowered, leaving a little extra money in the pocket if you were on such a scheme. Or an awful lot more money if you live in the south-east of England where the several point difference can amount to hundreds or even thousands of pounds per month less spent on your mortgage, helping to maintain consumer consumption and provide a jobs boost in the local economy.
I’m not denying that there aren’t people in London and the south-east who haven’t suffered because of the recession, but it’s clear that the pain hasn’t been felt equally across the UK.