PricewaterhouseCoopers released the Good Growth for Cities report earlier this week, looking at how 50 cities across the UK have recovered in the wake of Covid-19.
The report noted that Aberdeen and Edinburgh’s economies are expected to grow by 5.5% in 2022, compared to 4.4% in Glasgow.
The annual index - which looks at factors like jobs, health, income, skills and work-life balance - shows also that Glasgow had slower growth that cities including Aberdeen and Edinburgh in key areas.
While the report showed Glasgow as having a better work-life balance than other parts of the UK, and factors like skills and income distribution have improved, the growth of income, jobs, new businesses and, in particular, health has been slow compared to other cities.
Appeal for support
Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeill brought up the issue at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, and asked the Scottish Government how its policies across government will support people living in Glasgow to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney responded: “By working collaboratively with our partners in local government, business and the third sector we will deliver a strong recovery that meets the needs specific to each area.
“For example, the Glasgow City Region deal empowers Glasgow and its City Region partners to identify, manage and deliver a programme of investments to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in their areas, supporting the region to achieve its shared long-term vision for the local economy.
“The government is actively involved in dialogue with the Glasgow City Regional deal and we will continue that dialogue with our focus on recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
However, Ms McNeill asked “what more evidence does the Scottish Government need that Glasgow is in trouble” and urged Mr Swinney to elaborate on how it would help Glasgow.
He said it “vital” that Glasgow was supported to recover from the pandemic and that the government was engaged with the City Region partnership
Mr Swinney spoke about support to improve connectivity in the region, as well as skills investment in college and university sector.
“We are supporting the recovery of key sectors affected by the pandemic,” he said.
“If we look at the overall position on economic recovery, the economy is broadly back to where it was pre-pandemic and the key challenge is to make sure that the many strengths of the City of Glasgow and its surrounding areas are built upon to ensure that all citizens can appreciate and enjoy the proceeds of economic growth and opportunity, and that’s at the heart of the dialogue between the government and local authorities.”