Dundee's Disposable Household Income : the good news and the not-so-good news

Lesley Brennan

14 February 2013

UHY Hacker Young produce regular reports on how the top cities and towns in Britain are faring.

The latest one, published this week, refers to the disposable household income ( the money that a household has to spend or to save after paying taxation and mortgage or rent) .

It is a key measure of economic well-being.

Dundee has shown the highest percentage rise of anywhere is the UK in  disposable household income which has risen by 18 per cent in four years.

Dundee’s figure now stands at £14,925.

That increase is good news.

The not-so-good news is that this same figure remains below the UK average of £15,727.

These latest figures refer to the period January 2006- December 2010, as the first wave of very large cuts in public expenditure swept across the public sector.

The good news had been that this observed rise in disposable income was a product of investment in the public sector in the city.

The not so good news is that this same public sector has seen hundreds of jobs lost through public sector cuts along with jobs in the private sector such as construction which depend upon public sector projects for work.

UHY Hacker Young refer to this themselves saying,

"However, with more public sector budget cuts on the way, growth in disposable income may moderate or reverse for some towns that are heavily dependent on public sector employment."

2010 Government figures show that the city does indeed have the highest percentage share of its workforce in the public sector of the major Scottish cities.

Dundee has 32.8 per cent

Aberdeen 19.9 per cent

Edinburgh 30.5 per cent

and Glasgow 24.9 per cent

Despite Dundee’s greater vulnerability to public sector cuts , the city has talent in depth, recognised by the Cities Outlook institute which awarded  Dundee a place in the top 10 of the 64 largest cities and towns that it surveys annually for “High Qualifications”

The city obviously possesses the skills required to improve its economic performance.

To take advantage of this, the city requires a change in UK government economic policy, and making jobs for Dundee  a national priority in Scotland.

A city’s success depends on its economy , as does its Gross Disposable Household Income.


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