Inclusive growth is economic growth that creates opportunity for all segments of the population and distributes the dividends of increased prosperity, both in monetary and non-monetary terms, fairly across society.
In many countries, people have not seen their incomes rise for years. The gap between rich and poor has widened, with those at the top capturing the ‘lion’s share’ of growth. Rising inequality in earnings and in wealth is a major concern, but money is just one aspect of people’s well-being. In just about every area, whether it be education, life expectancy, or employment prospects, success is determined by socio-economic status, wealth and assets, sex, age or the places where people live. (OECD)
Greater Manchester Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit
The unit was set up in January 2016 as an independent analytic resource to help make poverty reduction central to processes of economic growth and devolution in Greater Manchester, and to provide research, analysis and insight on inclusive growth in other UK cities. The unit is jointly funded by the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities, as part of its commitment to making a difference and addressing inequalities in our city region, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as part of its programme of work on cities, growth and poverty reduction.
IGAU published a series of short policy briefings in 2017/18 which are available from the University of Manchester website.
The first of these was launched in March 2017. Leading Inclusive Growth in Greater Manchester - http://hummedia.manchester.ac.uk/institutes/mui/igau/briefings/IGAU-Overview-briefing.pdf? This briefing looked at the current situation in GM and its particular challenges, explored what it would mean for Greater Manchester if it, including the newly elected mayor, adopted inclusive growth as an ‘organising principle’, and looked at examples from other cities that GM could follow.
There were also a number of suggestions for the new mayor to consider which aim to encourage inclusive growth (listed below). Of particular interest to VCSE organisations is the following, "Adopt and model a distributed approach to leading inclusive growth. Start by identifying leaders within the private sector, anchor institutions and the VCSE sector and engaging them in action-orientated projects to learn about how they can drive inclusive growth and how that work can be supported."
The Head of the IGAU, Professor Ruth Lupton, spoke at the Manchester Voluntary Sector Assembly in February 2017 and a video of her presentation is available here - https://www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/voluntary-sector-assembly-28-february-2017
RSA Inclusive Growth Commission
Chaired by former BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders and building on the success of the RSA’s City Growth Commission, the Commission sought to devise new models for place-based growth, which enable the widest range of people to participate fully in, and benefit from, the growth of their local area. Launched in April 2016, they published their final report in 2017.
Inclusive Growth Commission: Making our Economy Work for Everyone was launched in March 2017 and considered a range of evidence submitted throughout the course of the Commission's work. It provides a framework and four key sets of recommendations:
Place-based industrial strategies: Delivering business-led productivity and quality jobs. The Commission recommends:
- City regions work together to form sectoral coalitions linking industry sectors and places in order to modernise industrial strategy;
- The creation of new institutions or civic enterprises to connect business and industry, training providers and universities;
- That cities become places of life-long learning, with a commitment to human capital development from ‘cradle to grave.’
A fundamental reset of the relationship between Whitehall and the town hall, underwritten in new social contracts. The Commission recommends:
- National standards with local flexibility so that combined authorities are able to pool budgets and co-commission public services for their place;
- Immediate, pragmatic action to spread co-commissioning – applying Greater Manchester’s model of joint place-based service commissioning for health and social care to other mayoral combined authorities and other public service areas such as education, skills and employment support;
- Maximising impact from total local resources. Over the long term, places with mature governance should take on full responsibility for the economic and social outcomes of their place, enabling local coordination of all public spending;
- Place-based budgeting and spending reviews that attribute the total amount of public sector spending and investment to places rather than departmental siloes.
Inclusive growth at the heart of public investment. The Commission recommends:
- Central government establish a new independent UK Inclusive Growth Investment Fund, incorporating repatriated ESIF funds and other relevant funding streams. Applications for funding would be based on their expected impact on broad based ‘quality GVA’ and the Fund would be overseen by a multi-stakeholder board;
- Central government should explore and encourage the establishment of regional banks.
Making inclusive growth our working definition of economic success. The Commission recommends:
- Central government commission an assessment of the social infrastructure gap;
- Maximising the impact of national and local investment by mainstreaming inclusive growth in all public investments including physical infrastructure projects;
- Establishing inclusive growth as a regular, official statistic by publishing a quarterly national measure of inclusive growth alongside GDP;
- Places should define and be accountable for agreed inclusive growth metrics, and these should form part of the Gateway Reviews for mayoral investment funds;
- An appropriate evaluation timeframe should be developed as part of the new social contracts negotiated between city regions and central government.
You can find a copy of all their reports and more information about the commission on the RSA website - https://www.thersa.org/action-and-research/rsa-projects/public-services-and-communities-folder/inclusive-growth-commission