30 January 2014
The Labour party has claimed that the communities who will suffer most from the local government cuts will be the more disadvantaged areas in England. Statistics show that between the years of 2010/11 and 2015/16, the percentage cut in spending will rise ten times in the more deprived communities than the better off ones.
Labour’s research was based on analysis performed by Newcastle City Council on how much local authorities across the UK have available to spend on services, as well as the government’s own ‘multiple deprivation’ figures.
The conclusions were described by Shadow Communities Minister, Hilary Benn, as “shocking” full stop He went on to say that the figures showed the impact of the current government’s ‘unfair policies’.
The information published by Labour showed a “clear link between cuts in spending power and deprivation”. As deprivation increased, so too did cumulative cuts between the years of 20/11 and 2015/16.
In order to find the more disadvantaged areas, indices from the Department for Communities and Local Government were used, full stop instead of comma these show income measures, employment and health deprivation, crime, disability, education and obstacles imposed on housing and services.
By using these figures, Labour have listed the ten most deprived areas. These include Liverpool, Hackney, Manchester and Middlesbrough, all of which suffer from a reduction of 25.3% in spending power.
Despite the statistics, the government insists that it has evenly spread an equal settlement throughout the country, regardless of whether they are located in the north or south of the country or whether they are a rural or urban area. This is of course, not the first time that the government has come under fire for targeting the less advantaged communities in the country.
In areas such as Liverpool, money transfers from central government pay for many services that are vital to the area, whereas in the least deprived places, including Sussex and Surrey, services are funded through council tax and charges such as for parking.
The government has encouraged local authorities to develop their independent income by putting away a share of proceeds when business rates increase and have also promised rewards for the construction of more homes and increases in employment. However, it seems that the government is doing very little to help close the gap between rich and poor, which is proving to result in a very obvious divide between the south and the north of the country.