Labour: Spending cuts hit most-deprived areas hardest

 
A child in a deprived area Labour says the cuts in the most deprived areas are shocking

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The most disadvantaged communities in England are facing the biggest local government cuts, Labour has claimed.

Between 2010/11 and 2015/16, it says, the percentage cut in spending will be 10 times greater in the most deprived areas than in those least deprived.

But the government says the most-deprived councils still have £1,000 more per household to spend than those where deprivation is lowest.

Shadow communities minister Hilary Benn said the figures were "shocking".

He added: "They show the impact of David Cameron and Eric Pickles's unfair policies."

'Clear link'

The Labour Party says its research combines analysis from Newcastle City Council on the amount which councils across England have to spend on services with the government's own figures for "multiple deprivation".

Cuts in top five most and least deprived local authorities

Most deprived

  • Liverpool City Council - 27.1%
  • London Borough of Hackney - 27.1%
  • London Borough of Newham - 27.7%
  • Manchester City Council - 26.1%
  • Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, Merseyside - 27.4%

Least deprived

  • St Albans City and District Council, Herts - 3.6%
  • Rushcliffe Borough Council, Notts - 9.4%
  • Harborough District Council, Leics - 4%
  • Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey - 2%
  • Waverley Borough Council, Surrey - 1.3%

Labour has published this information in a graph which it says shows the "clear link between cuts in spending power and deprivation".

As deprivation increases, the "cumulative cut" between 2010/11 and 2015/16 also appears to rise.

The 10 most deprived areas, which include Liverpool, Hackney, Manchester and Middlesbrough, face an average reduction in spending power of 25.3%, according to Labour.

The party says the 10 least deprived areas, which include St Albans, Elmbridge, Waverley and Wokingham, are dealing with an average cut of just 2.54%.

Deprivation is measured using indices previously published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The measure includes income, employment and health deprivation, as well as disability, crime, education and barriers to housing and services.

Competing arguments

It's not the first time the government has faced accusations of unfairness in council funding, and ministers have swiftly rebutted Labour's figures.

The local government minister, Brandon Lewis, said: "The coalition government has delivered a fair settlement to every part of the country, north and south, rural and urban, metropolitan and shire.

"Councils facing the highest demand for services continue to receive substantially more funding... This shows that the government understands the pressures faced by deprived authorities."

The difficulty with assessing the validity of the competing arguments about the funding squeeze is that councils are raising money in different ways.

A deprived area in the UK Ministers say councils should not rely so much on central government handouts

Those areas of high deprivation tend to be the ones that are very reliant on grants from central government.

In places such as Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham, large money transfers from government departments are used to pay for many services.

The least deprived, which include parts of Surrey and Sussex, tend to fund their services mainly through council tax and charges for things such as parking.

Cuts in central government grants, by their nature, tend to hit those areas most dependent on government support.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has argued that action was taken to dampen the effect, by making sure that those areas most dependent on government grants had lower reductions in central government funding.

Building more homes

Ministers also believe that councils should in the longer term become more efficient and less reliant on central government handouts.

They have repeatedly expressed a desire to end the "begging bowl" culture of councils totting up their "needs" and then sending the bill to central government.

Local authorities are encouraged to find ways of developing their own income, for example by keeping a share of the proceeds when the amount raised by business rates increases.

Ministers say councils are also being rewarded for building more homes and generating jobs.

But closing the gap between the most deprived and least deprived areas will take a long time, if indeed it is happening at all.

Labour says, in the meantime, local government cuts are hitting those most in need.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 684.

    The systems for giving grants local government are used by successive governments as political, not financial systems, with each penalising its opponents and rewarding its supporters. The only solution is an independent grant body to remove the political bias which is rampant in the current system.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 683.

    @677 iamwrong

    You're not making any sense - now, if you try to string a sentence together in which the words are in some kind of logical order, that could make a difference.
    And why would I care about your views, YOUR views, which are insane to be kind, on my character. Who are you to pass judgement and have somebody care?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 682.

    672.Norman Brooke
    Surely its time to target benefits on those in need.

    Even the most right wing wouldn't argue with that. The debate is defining "need". We have got into a position where some receive benefits they don't need and therefore depriving the most needy of the help they require. Labour lost control of welfare spending and it's a painful process to correct.

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 681.

    There will always be those who have and those who don't. There will always be some who strive and others who wait for someone else to do it for them. What is now perplexing for many is why they are taxed and others aren't and why, while they strive for a better life, those who don't strive to better themselves are rewarded with a handout.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 680.

    This is everything the Tory toffs dream of a dis-UK, divided by this callous govt looking after its own, where the most vulnerable in Society (the lower "species" as the Tories call them), pushed into Tory utopia of planned penury, where the poorest face Council tax hikes, and Bedroom Tax, while the Cabinet stuffed with Millionaires give tax cuts to the Have Yachts at the expense of the Have Nots

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 679.

    '671. AndyC555'

    The wealthy can afford not to sit around. They have the luxury of choices denied those who don't have their advantages. Not everyone can 'get on their bike' and look for work, especially the under 25s who've had housing benefit taken away, thus diminishing their chances of travelling to find work. Government is supposed to be for all citizens.This one has forgotten.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 678.

    If Amazon, Starbucks etc actually paid some corporation tax in the UK, we would have a better NHS, policing and roads. This would benefit everyone, in work or unemployed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 677.

    661. misterhutson
    1

    "They went for reasons relevant to them"

    =================

    Didn't look very far did you!

    No matter as I said , and standby, you are what you are and the above statement just backs up my views on your character.

    Have a nice day - NOT

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 676.

    I fully expect my council tax to go up (along with a plethora of other taxes, levies and duties) after May 2015 once Labour get back in as their answer to any problem is to throw money at it.

    They do have previous.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 675.

    671.
    AndyC555
    6 Minutes ago

    "670.Jane Clare
    The wealthy never suffer"


    Most probably because they don't sit around whining about everything and waiting for the government to do everything for them.

    ----------

    Or, as is more likely the case, accept wage subsidies from the taxpayer via tax credits while syphoning off money from tax dodging to the camen islands.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 674.

    670Jane Clare
    The wealthy never suffer

    Do you want them to? The politics of envy that Labour are peddling is evil & creates jealousy & wedges in society. The wealthy through their very nature are at top of the food chain & are always going to be the last to suffer during a downturn as they have assets, less debt & solid jobs. If the wealthy begin to suffer then the poor really would be screwed

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 673.

    649. therealist
    And what are Newcastle doing about it other than going to government with a begging bowl all the time?

    Wanting government spending to be fairly distributed is not "going to government with a begging bowl". What exactly do you think Newcastle CAN do about it, oh wise southerner? They don't, for example, have a billion lying around to build their own Wembley, do they?

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 672.

    I think the twisted ideology of this government whereby if you NEED you get less if you don't need you get more is as bad as those who say there are no jobs when there are some.. albeit but not enough. We seem to have lost our sense of fairness, justice and morality in this country given we are still 8th wealthiest on Earth. Surely its time to target benefits on those in need.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 671.

    "670.Jane Clare
    The wealthy never suffer"


    Most probably because they don't sit around whining about everything and waiting for the government to do everything for them.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 670.

    This government, like Thatcher's, has done its best to emasculate local government. Taking education out of its remit is just one example. Bribing councils to freeze council tax for three years with the dubious promise of more central government grant does little to enable councils to carry out the services we still expect. Regrading of council tax bands is long overdue. The wealthy never suffer.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 669.

    What this country needs is a serious dose of socialism to try and put right the past 30+ years of neo-liberal Thatherism that has broken the country's back bone. Governments must realise they are running the home of the UK's inhabitants and not a business!!
    Re-nationalise utilities, build council houses, invest in the future of the NHS and make multi-national businesses pay their tax bills!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 668.

    Why would you expect money to be invested in a failing area in the first place? If you have a surplus 'yes' but the country doesn't have a surplus and there isn't an entrepreneur who would either.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 667.

    651. Herb

    "Thatcherism ( Tory and Blair and Brown's New Labour version and this Coalition ) have transformed our country , not for the better but for the absolute worse"

    ---
    Spot on.
    When asked her greatest achievement, Thatcher said "Tony Blair."
    Cameron led a standing ovation for Blair and proclaimed himself "the heir to Blair"
    Different parties. Policies differences - minuscule.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 666.

    @664 - Hi Sally !

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 665.

    The % of cuts is irrelevant as that only shows us how much Labour boosted their own councils coffers during their govt. What's important & worthy of debate is the current amount per household each council receives. If it turns out the Coalition are giving Liverpool less than St Albans per household then we have an issue, however it really should be equal across the board?

 

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