Councils in poorest areas suffering biggest budget cuts, Labour says25 August 2014
Hilary Benn, the shadow communities secretary, has published data that shows the poorest areas of England have suffered council cuts worth 16x as much per household than richest areas.
He accused the government of failing to apply “the basic principles of fairness” in money allocated to local government, adding “The prime minister and the local government secretary say that tough times involve tough choices, but they have forgotten one very important principle. Tough times demand tough choices that are fair.”
Benn’s figures are based on the amount per household that councils are losing between 2010-11 and 2015-16. Councils covering the 10 most deprived areas of England – measured according to the index of multiple deprivation – are losing £782 on average per household, while authorities covering the richest areas are losing just £48 on average.
The figures reinforce claims that have been made by organisations such as the Audit Commission, the local government spending watchdog, which said in a report last year that “councils in the most deprived areas have seen substantially greater reductions in government funding as a share of revenue expenditure than councils in less deprived areas.”