Levelling up? 2 key facts that show how the country has become less equal under the Tories

Cuts to English council and schools’ spending have been larger in more deprived areas.

Children living in poverty

As the government prepares to unveil its flagship policy today, it’s levelling up agenda, vowing to help save Britain’s forgotten communities, many of us know that it’s nothing more than just empty rhetoric with little substance.

A government that was truly interested in ‘levelling up’ wouldn’t cut the £20 uplift in Universal Credit which pushed hundreds of thousands of children into poverty, nor would it raise national insurance contributions, choosing to target the tax burden on ordinary workers rather than targetting wealth.

An additional 500,000 children are living in significant poverty in 2019/20 compared to 2011/12.

On the morning that the government’s levelling up secretary Michael Gove reveals the government’s Levelling Up white paper, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has revealed some killer statistic which shows just how much the country has been levelled down under the last 12 years of Tory rule.

Over the last decade, cuts to English council and schools’ spending have been larger in more deprived areas.

The IFS found that between 2009-10 and 2019-20, spending on non-education services by the tenth of councils serving the most deprived areas fell by an average 31% per resident, almost twice as much (16% per resident) as among the tenth serving the least deprived areas. It states that ‘this was a deliberate policy choice by the coalition government between 2010 and 2015’.

The second fact which shows just how much the Tories don’t care about equality finds that

the extent to which schools’ funding is targeted at schools with the most deprived pupils has declined since the early 2010s.

Average funding per pupil for the fifth of schools with the highest levels of deprivation fell from 35% higher than the fifth with the lowest levels of deprivation in 2013 to 23% higher in 2019.

So much for levelling up.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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