JRF report reveals the ‘cost of the cuts’ to some of the most deprived areas

11 March 2015

A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation presents the most up to date findings on how cuts to council budgets are impacting on local services and people living in the most disadvantaged communities.

The study is part of a three year research project investigating the impact of austerity politics on people and places in poverty. The latest report shows that the most deprived areas have seen the largest cuts to funding since 2010.

Drawing on four local authority case studies, the study identified a spending gap between those living in deprived areas who have seen spending cuts of £220 per head, and those living in the least deprived areas, who have seen cuts of £40 per head. This is coupled with increasing demand and pressure on services in more deprived communities.

The report argues that councils are no longer able to cope with the current pace of the cuts, whereas in the past they have found innovative ways of working. Many local authorities are struggling to invest in and remodel cheaper services, while meeting residents’ increasing needs.

Services such as housing and planning have been worst affected, with cuts of around 40 per cent. Social care spending has fallen in the most deprived communities by 14 per cent and risen in the least deprived communities by 8 per cent.

The study also draws a comparison between England and Scotland stating that the spending power of local authorities in England has been cut 27 per cent compared to 11 per cent in Scotland.

A report by JRF and the Glasgow Caledonian University, which focuses on austerity in Scotland, can be read here.