THE post-Brexit Tory government has made levelling up a central part of its agenda – but it’s failing in Scotland while favouring London, new research shows.

After the UK left the EU the Boris Johnson administration pushed the idea of levelling up, a series of policies aimed at reducing inequalities between different areas. The effort has been so key to recent government messaging that the Housing Department was even renamed to include the phrase, with Michael Gove made Levelling Up Secretary.

But despite the focus and major UK-wide advertising campaigns, “no overall levelling up” has been recorded in Scotland.

READ MORE: Government Levelling Up advert completely cuts off Shetland from the UK map

Meanwhile, most areas outside of Scotland meant to benefit from the project have seen little sign of improvement.

Bloomberg’s analysis of the levelling up progress, using data based on priorities set out in a UK Government policy paper, found that many parts of the UK are slipping back relative to where they were in 2019.

Salaries are not improving in nine out of 10 constituencies, home affordability is getting worse, and there has been little to improve broadband coverage. Across the UK wellbeing is also either falling or unchanged from 2019 in 55% of constituencies.

Meanwhile the Tories have not quickly progressed on moving civil service roles around the country, or boosting spending on public services or transport infrastructure.

The organisation found that just 10% of constituencies that were behind London and the south east in most areas in 2019 are levelling up now.

READ MORE: Levelling Up: Michael Gove told EU replacement fund is failing Highlands and Islands

Two constituencies in Scotland – Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South – had the worst change in salaries from 2019 to 2022, with average monthly earnings only rising by £2805 to £2932 compared to Kensington which saw that same measure go from £9894 to £12,072.

On home affordability, the vast majority of Scottish constituencies were falling behind a little or a lot on where they were in 2019. Across the UK most constituencies saw house prices grow faster than salaries, with just London seeing this gap shrink significantly.

On foreign investment, Scotland has joined Northern Ireland in pulling ahead of most of England and Wales in recent years.

Another key area of the UK Government’s levelling up agenda is its aim to close the gap in public transport connectivity – but the gap on this measure has worsened between London and other parts of the UK.

Scotland recorded the worst increase in Westminster funding in this area since 2019, rising from £682 to just £849 per person. During the same period London saw the greatest change, rising from £856 to £1476 per person.

Improvement to broadband coverage improvement was also worst in a Scottish constituency, as Glasgow South saw the percentage of premises with ultra-fast broadband drop from 71.5% to 64.5%.

Following the publication of the figures, the SNP said they’d long been “deeply concerned” about levelling up.

The National:

"So far [they] have completely failed to address even the most basic problems that the Tories themselves created,” SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald (above) told The National.

“It’s now clear we were right to be concerned. This analysis shows that Scotland is being let down yet again by Westminster bluff and bluster.

“The Tories’ agenda is not only a blatant attack on devolution – it doesn’t even attempt to address Brexit funding shortfalls, rising poverty rates, or support businesses which are struggling to due to the pandemic.”

The MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands went on: "The Tories’ rhetoric has been nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Clearly, Westminster means cuts, not cash for communities across Scotland, and the only way to protect Scotland's people and Parliament is by becoming an independent country."

Meanwhile, Alba general secretary Chris McEleny called levelling up a “sham”.

“Whilst Michael Gove and Boris Johnson pretend to be focused on levelling up across the whole of the UK it’s time for Scotland to focus on settling up and securing our independence as an immediate priority,” he said.

The National:

Labour’s levelling up shadow secretary Lisa Nandy (above) was also heavily critical of the Government’s lack of progress on its central policy.

“We’ve had three years of broken promises and empty slogans,” she said.

“Levelling up might not happen overnight but under the Conservatives it is going backwards. For all the big promises, we’re seeing yet more managed decline for places outside London and the South East.”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has been contacted for comment.