The centre-right think tank Reform has launched a report arguing the harm Labour’s greater public spending is having upon the poorer parts of the United Kingdom. This imbalance is feeding economic and demograhic changes that could become a self-perpetuating cycle of ever-growing dependency. However, it highlights how a number of cities (Leeds, Liverpoool, Manchester and Newcastle) are bucking these regional trends creating “islands of success”. It strongly advocates a dual approach of lower tax and slower public expedniture growth – full report here. Interestingly, the SNP seems to have already got the message, the Sunday Times reports leaked plans to make inroads to the business community with proposals for radical reductions in Scottish business rates. This would be the latest initiative of a reinvigorated SNP under the leadership of Alex Salmond that has already seen them overtake the Labour Party in the opinion polls.