This story is jointly written by Will Straw and Tom Phillips
George Osborne is fond of saying that, “We’re all in this together”. But after this week’s regressive Emergency Budget, Left Foot Forward can reveal that local spending cuts announced last month will hit the poorest areas in the UK the hardest.
New research by Left Foot Forward shows that contributions to last month’s £6.2 billion in spending cuts from local government are similarly regressive, exposing the Lib-Con coalition as willing to leave the least well off in society behind on their road to recovery.
David Cameron’s constituency, which lies in Oxfordshire, will only receive half the level of cuts that the considerably more deprived South Tyneside – home to David Miliband’s South Shields constituency – will suffer.
The Indices of Deprivation from the Department of Community and Local Government scores the level of deprivation in each local authoritative district. The most deprived areas in the country – such as Knowsley, Liverpool, and Manchester in the North-West – are being affected with some of the highest percentage cuts. The trendline for Metropolitan areas is particularly robust. The result shows that percentage revenue reduction increases progressively with the level of deprivation.
Graph 2, below, shows that the news is not much better for the deprived in the Capital.
Because of the recent conversion of some county councils to become unitary authorities it was not possible to make similar robust comparisons for these two other types of local authorities. But the county council of Oxfordshire, home of David Cameron’s Witney constituency has a deprivation index of 10.85 and cuts of 0.7%. By contrast, Nick Clegg’s Sheffield has 27.84 and 1.0%, Ed Miliband’s Doncaster has 30.84 and 1.2%, while David Miliband’s South Tyneside is worse hit with 31.16 and 1.4%.
These stats confirm age-old fears that a Tory government hits the worst off hardest. Though the Lib-Con coalition offered some respite to poorer families in Tuesday’s budget, the overall picture in post-Budget Britain is ominous for Britain’s most deprived communities.
The raw data we used is available here.
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.