The North/South divide - just who is better off?

Just watched a Channel 4 programme on the supposed North/South divide & as an ex southerner I thought I would do a little research of my own. There IS a N/S divide!
I have ignored London as people who work there are paid London weighting. I have concentrated on Kent & Greater Manchester to compare.

The Guardian one year ago told us “The average home in the south, including the south-west, south-east, London and East Anglia, costs £313,670. A typical home in the north, which the study includes as the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, the north-west and the north-east, now costs £150,917.” Beer prices vary across the country too, costing about £3.25 a pint in Yorkshire & £3.72 in Kent (2016).

A quick look at wages paid by national companies or organisations according to showed the following:-

  1. Police officer - Greater Manchester = £33564, Kent = £26695
  2. Tesco sales assistant - Manchester = £13899, Kent(Folkestone) = £11163
  3. Natwest customer service assistant - Manchester = £17211, Chatham = £15654
  4. Lidl customer assistant - Manchester = £8.93 ph, Folkestone = £8.86 ph.
  5. Teachers - Manchester = £37500 (average), Rochester = £30750 (average) source

Another site,, rates the cost of living in various areas in the UK. Manchester rates 15th with a price index of 150 while Brighton & Hove comes in higher at 10th, rating 163.

I’m sure that smaller companies might vary slightly but with the national minimum wage being fixed those in the north can buy more for their pound than those poor sods who live in the south, so why are they complaining??


Hello Mark
Probably because it’s colder and has more rain in the North ! :wink:

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Manchester is a vibrant city.
If you looked at the North East you would find a very different picture.
The old industries of the North, cotton, wool, mining, steel have all suffered huge losses and have for the most part have not received sufficient investment to compensate.
I am a Lancastrian and the motto of Morecambe is Beauty Surrounds Health Abounds, which is quite apposite when you consider the news regarding pollution affecting many people’s health.
There is a perceived view of the North by Southerners that we are almost barbarians. This does not help.
From where I lived I could be in Windermere within half an hour which I used to do each weekend in the summer to go water skiing with my friends.
At the opposite end of the country Cornwall suffered from poverty for a long time and is just now looking to a more vibrant future with the discovery of new mineral deposits.
Comments blaming everything on the weather demonstrate the attitude of Southerners to the North.

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There is a perceived view of the North by Southerners that we are almost barbarians.

And I hear you live in caves😎


Cornwall is not going to make a financial comeback through mining. The county is poor, much less affluent than the house prices would suggest and the near future is bleak. It is still a good tourist destination but, like the Lake District, has a transport infrastructure that cannot cope with medium traffic density let alone the peaks in high season.
As a county the Cornish benefited greatly from the EU. As a county their vote to leave was one of the highest percentages overall. The UK government has already told them that the treasury will not be able to match the EU support so they are a great example of a group of people who all managed to shoot themselves in the foot at exactly the same time.


My view of northerners is that they are paid more than southerners but pay less for stuff & are therefore far better able to invest in their own future. Manchester United is one of the richest football clubs in the world & most of their players live locally. Players’ WEEKLY wages start at £20,000 for a 19 year old up to £290,000 (over £15 million per year) for a 24 year old. I assume much of this gets spent locally. How much does it cost to go to a home game?

David, they are looking at mining lithium, not reopening the tin mines!

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Footballers pay is scandalous no matter where in the UK.
There is much more unemployment in the North and other regio9ns, so life is more difficult for those without work.
Try buying a house in the golden triangle around Leeds and see how far your money goes.

Apparently Cornwall is poorer than Transylvania. Receives millions in EU aid, millions it won’t get when the UK leaves the EU. Went up north once, rained everyday, no wonder they say its grim up north.

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The unemployed anywhere find things difficult, that’s why people work. Try buying a house in London & see how far your money goes. I can’t afford to live in St Tropez so I live in the Charente where I can. I’m sure northerners can move to places where there is work. It’s a case of priorities. I could have stayed in the UK, sat on my backside all day & wait for “the government” to provide money & work to provide me with things that working people have to save up for years to buy.

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Who mentioned tin, or copper, or kaolin, or arsenic, or silver or any of the other metals that were historically mined in Cornwall. High tech industries where the high speed trans Atlantic cables come ashore near Cape Cornwall is the future hope. More mining revenue will be earned from the fracking in Lancashire.

What’s that, that there superfast Atlantic band? Life in the UK goes up and down the middle, what happens on the left or right is only relevant when the yokels get upperty.

Hopefully not, as fracking is a very BAD & pointless thing.
It’s beyond me why it’s considered a good idea to spend massive amounts of time, expertise, & money extracting yet another finite & polluting resource when those things should be channelled into expanding & diversifying the renewable energy sector.

Fortunately France has banned fracking :sunglasses:

My answer was a bit tongue in cheek. I am very much in the anti fracking camp, a bizarre idea.
The future mining of high value minerals in Cornwall will at best line the pockets of a few businessmen and investors. When I was at school it seemed that 50% of the pupils would be going into the China Clay industry in one way or another, 100 years before that the mining of precious metals employed an even higher proportion of the population. That was then, long hours, poor working conditions and low pay but the best work on offer to so many people. Future mining will be high tech and use a minimum workforce. Any money made will not be going into the local area, at best, if the government actually taxes the mining companies properly, some tax revenue might find its way to make up for some of the investment lost once the EU money stops. I won’t be holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Is it a bizarre idea? Will the whole of the USA disappear into a giant sinkhole? Or is it all just another part of project fear? If they covered the UK in wind turbines, would it eventually take off and fly away?

In my opinion the gains aren’t worth the risks, especially in heavily built up areas. You are welcome to have a different opinion, it’s no skin off my nose.

I don’t have a different opinion, my opinion on fracking is exactly the same as yours, that’s based on what I’ve read on the subject. I’m not a scientist, so realistically have no idea which side of the argument is correct or incorrect, but being a lefty tree hugging liberal, I tend to believe environmentalists more than I do people with financial gain in mind.

Presumably your previous post was an attempt at humour.

Mark, if you live in social housing it is not so easy to find a swap as it is to sell your house. Also it is difficult to sell a house if there is no demand because there is no work.
When we first looked in France we looked at the Charente and the top of the Perigord, but the prices were sky high and, thank goodness we didn’t because the property market fell by about 40%.
It appears that you have a down on the North, but i,t is a wonderful place to live, if you have work.

I get the tounge in cheek bit, but I like to “correct” in case others reading forums such as these don’t.