Poland has announced a dramatic tax policy:
Poles under the age of 26 who earn less than 85,528 Polish zloty ($22,547) a year will be exempt from the country's 18% income tax starting August 1. The allowance is generous, considering the average Polish salary stands at just below 60,000 zloty ($15,700) a year.The aim of the policy is to try and stem the tide of young Poles that head for other countries - an estimated 1.7 million people left Poland in the past 15 years which, as the Polish PM observed, "It's as if the entire city of Warsaw left".
For those who have already left, especially the better educated (something like 750,000 graduates are in that 1.7 million figure), the incentive probably isn't good enough and they're likely to be earning more, even after tax, that they would in Poland even assuming there's a comparable job. But it might have two effects - to slow down the departure of young Poles in the future and to encourage new investment to exploit this pool of labour.
Which brings me to my question - could we use the same policy as a means of slowing down the "giant sucking sound" (to borrow from Ross Perot) of Northern graduates heading to London and the South-East? I'm not convinced it's a 'silver bullet' but it would add to the existing incentives of lower living costs especially for housing. It may even attract a few soft southern pansies like me up north! Worth a punt?