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"A productive economy that benefits all would be best served by encouraging skilled workers to be highly mobile" said an economist in The Telegraph.   

Policymakers should stop wasting money on Hull and similarly unproductive parts of the UK, according to influential think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Major schemes such as the Northern Powerhouse, brought forward by the centre-Right of the Tory party, including George Osborne, were mere "glamour projects", IEA economist Diego Zuluaga told The Sunday Telegraph, in comments likely to reignite the debate about the economic gap between London and the rest of the UK.

Plans for rail expansion were also misguided and poorly judged as they focused on trying to provide infrastructure in areas that were not major hubs for growth.

HS2 drew particular criticism as a rail venture. It was "an ­investment project that does not offer value for money", Mr Zuluaga said. Rather than try to create productive jobs in less successful areas, politicians should concentrate limited resources and investment on existing effective regions, Mr Zuluaga said.

Some regeneration projects have been a success and boosted regional economies, but there was little proof to suggest that, on average, spending public money to ­improve a weak area was more effective than spending it where output per worker was already above average, ­according to the think-tank.

While regions might apply pressure to central government in a bid to ­secure funding for redevelopment, examples such as efforts to revamp Liverpool in the Seventies and Eighties showed that this was not worthwhile, Mr Zuluaga said.

"What’s the evidence that this [spending on unproductive regions] works, on average,” he added. Instead of trying to keep well qualified workers in poorly performing regions, workers should be better accommodated with housebuilding projects in places of high demand.

"House planning regulation happens to be most restrictive where it is most wanted," the economist said.

Concerns from existing homeowners, that building more houses in the South East might negatively impact on their high house values, should not be allowed to dictate government efforts to make sure output per worker rises and as a result wages, he said.

A productive economy that benefits all would be best served by encouraging skilled workers to be highly mobile, the economist added.