IFS finds that the most deprived areas have seen the deepest cuts

Planned spending cuts for 2015-16 are likely to return to the same areas to squeeze them further

New research has shown yet again that it is the poor who are suffering most from this government’s cuts.

An Election Briefing Note published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies describes how between 2009-10 and 2014-14, local authority spending per person was cut by 23.4 per cent in real terms. In general, the IFS finds, more deprived areas and those with faster population growth have seen the biggest cuts.

What is more, further cuts planned for 2015-16 will affect the same local authorities that have already been cut, meaning that the same people are being affected over and over again.

The IFS find that cuts to net service spending over this parliament have tended to be larger in areas that were ‘initially more reliant on central government grants to fund spending’; areas that are deemed to have a high level of spending need relative to their local revenue-raising capacity, ie. the most deprived.

David Innes, a Research Economist at IFS and one of the authors of the report, said of the findings:

“English councils – like many government departments in Whitehall – have experienced sharp cuts to their spending power over the last five years. But the size of the cuts has varied a lot across England.

“On the whole, it is more deprived areas, those with lower local revenue-raising capacity, and those that have seen the fastest population growth that have seen the largest cuts to spending per person. Further cuts are likely to come in the next parliament and they could well be focused on many of the same local authorities if the current mechanism for allocating funds is retained.”

London boroughs have seen the largest average spending cuts per person, with an average of 31.4 per cent. In the North East, spending per person was cut by 26.5 per cent, and 25.7 per cent in the North West.

By 2014-15, spending cuts in London had been nearly twice as deep as those in the South East. In the future, the IFS predicts, areas like this with more rapid population growth will find it harder to maintain a steady level of spending per person.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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16 Responses to “IFS finds that the most deprived areas have seen the deepest cuts”

  1. damon

    Is this the same as I’ve been hearing on the radio this morning that rising populations due to immigration, was leading to cuts of services to the existing populations?
    Is it just one of those things that you can spin either way?


  2. littleoddsandpieces

    Immigration is not the cause of cuts to councils in areas with the poorest working age and poor pensioners.

    Immigrants are not all on benefit, but most are serious money, owning businesses and employing staff for generations now and are absolutely key to the staffing of the NHS.

    Politics is the cause.

    It is said the council grant is reducing from a high of around £14 billion in 2010, to a projected mere around £2 billion by 2020.

    Cuts are levied far more outside London and the SE, than in the Midlands and north of England.

    The more poor pensioners, disabled and working poor families (97 per cent of the poor), the heavier the cuts to council budgets, which only get worse year on year.

    Examples are such as Manchester of around £300 per head cuts, whereas wealthy Windsor had only around £14 per head cuts and Woking a mere around £2 per head cuts to their council budgets.

    Universal Credit will have indefinite sanctions, which replace around 6 benefits.

    And make the rise in retirement age even worse than it is, to UC benefit claimants by denying state pension payout by UC benefit rules even up to age 73.

    The flat rate pension has official forecasts already for those retiring next year, 2016,
    as low as £55 per week with no top ups
    (currently it is £113.10 per week),
    and there will be a huge number of men and women with nil state pension for life,
    so totally impoverished pensioners will only massively increase needing council help,
    which will not be there.

    See why, under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:


  3. Norfolk29

    I hate the idea that if they had enough sense they would vote at every election and not have to be in this position where they can be safely ignored by the coalition. Surely there must be some remedy that can be implemented to prevent this happening every time there is a recession.

  4. Mike Stallard

    Spending per person…
    allocating funds…
    spending cuts…
    deprived needs…
    What kind of people are we talking about here? Are they all infantile? Grown up people ought not to be treated like babies.

  5. Mike Stallard

    Spending per person…
    allocating funds…
    spending cuts…
    deprived needs…
    What kind of people are we talking about here? Are they all infantile? Grown up people ought not to be treated like babies.

  6. DRbilderburg

    The Tories like Labour can always afford War no matter the costs ,finding the cash for killing people they have no problem with

  7. Guest

    Ah yes, in your world the peon’s don’t need to have services provided at low cost, they need your expensive services, or they can die in the streets for all you care.

    So nice Grown Up rich 1%ers like you can pay a little less tax, and be the REAL people, the only ones who matter. You’ll keep massive police spending to defend your assets for cheap, of course.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    Except we have FPTP.
    Every last poor person voting…well, for who? And it might mean, oh, 2-3 MP’s.

    Nope, the voting system needs to change.

    (Also, there *are* systems designed to stop this. Spending on i.e. JSA is counter-cyclic. The limits to spending on welfare have instead been limited and they’re thus not working properly to help prevent the worse effects – and the welfare cap is going to make things far worse!)

  9. Guest

    No, blaming the Other can only be “spun” one way – it’s the right refusing to admit Capitalism.

  10. Guest

    Let’s take an example – How does firing rockets help? The site you link supports people who do, after all!

  11. Norfolk29

    Have you ever tried “Optimism”. I know it’s difficult, but why not try. We should try to get a better voting system, but, in the meantime, we should try to get everyone to vote. Even if it’s only to annoy the likes of Russell Grant.

  12. Leon Wolfeson

    Where it’s appropriate.

    Trying to get people to spoil their vote – which is the only applicable option for many – en-mass is not exactly inspiring. I’ll do it, sure, but unless and until we have a voting system which gives people (especially those on the left) a choice closer to what they actually want…

  13. Norfolk29

    This is not Optimism. However, just think what a voting system that reflected what people voted for would have given us. Just imagine over 150 LibDems in the House of Commons and the damage they would have done. Enough to make me lose more sleep than I can afford. The Belgium’s have 92 parties, each with one MP so it takes over a year to form a government.

    This country is not in a desperate crisis as demonstrated by the US which is a further 10 years ahead of us down this road and is still the greatest industrial country in the world. I agree that it is unlikely that the British people would put up with a Tory Party so like the Republican/Austerity/Tea Party that the American people appear to like, but we shall see on the 8th May.

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    With PR as a voting system, there would be a far wider set of options, including some very different ones. I want the German system, not the Belgium one, too – but you obviously haven’t done the basic research there, because there are certainly not 92×1 MP parties – there’s 13 parties and 150 seats.

    You’re raising chimeras.

    And we haven’t followed America’s example of recovery, we’ve followed an entirely different downwards path of austerity.

  15. Norfolk29

    We are obviously using different sources for our information. Did you vote for PR in 2011? I did, and saw John Reid share a platform with David Cameron to defeat the best chance we had of PR in my lifetime. The German system is the one that allowed the so-called Free Democrats share power with who ever won the majority of seats, so long as they were in power. The CDU currently share power with the SDU (which is like the Tories sharing power with Labour). I got the Belgium data from a native who abandoned her country because of the voting system. We share a lot with the Americans,
    the most important of which is our enterprise. Like them, we will never sink into the kind of recession that cripples African States and many European States.

  16. Leon Wolfeson

    There was no offer of PR in 2011.
    AV is *not proportional representation*, period – it’s another form of single-winner electoral district voting, with no proportional list or bloc element.

    You’ve fallen for a myth there, sadly.

    And the German system has allowed representation for the right, left and greens as well as two moderate parties (and they can’t and don’t keep moving right nearly as much as do the British Tories and Labor!). In Britain, we don’t have that.

    And we’re worse off than any EU state other than Greece – and their issues are also down to hardline capitalists!

    You really need to read up ><

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