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Report claims deprived Westcountry areas are hardest hit by cuts

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 24, 2013

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The Westcountry's poorest residents are being hit harder by cuts in benefits, tax credits and council services than wealthier neighbours, a Labour analysis has found as it accused the Government of targeting the most deprived areas of England.

Figures released by the party suggest that the north of England and inner-city parts of London are taking the brunt of cuts – with an average of £566 in cuts to welfare and local government for every person in the North-East, £511 in the capital and £508 in the North-West.

This compares to just £292 in the South-East outside London and £324 in the East of England.

But the pattern of the cuts also appear to be repeated across Devon and Cornwall.

In Torbay, residents will be hit to the tune of £547 and in Cornwall by £416. But at the other end, the figure is just £290 in East Devon and £308 in West Devon.

Torbay ranks 61st in the Government's own deprivation index – making it the poorest area in the greater South West – while East Devon is in a relatively wealthy 142nd.

The South Hams is the least impoverished area in Devon and Cornwall – sitting at 271 in the index – but escapes with modest cuts of £309.

Shadow Work and Pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: "The Tories are zeroing in on areas in need and hitting them hard – twice.

"Communities facing the biggest hit to local government are also losing most from cuts to their tax credits and benefits, yet instead of helping working families the Tories are giving millionaires a tax cut. That tells you everything you need to know about this Government's priorities."

Conservative Party vice-chairman Bob Neill said: "This Government is saving taxpayers' money – we have cut income tax for the low-paid, frozen council tax for hard-working families and pensioners, and are reforming welfare to back those who do the right thing and want to get on.

"Our welfare reforms will help people back to work, which will benefit the economy far more than the Labour alternative of simply abandoning people to claim benefits year after year.

"Labour have opposed every single saving in local government, despite the fact that Alistair Darling was planning £52 billion of cuts before the election. Labour's only solution now is to tax more and borrow more, which would mean soaring tax bills on hard-working people."

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7 comments

  • Ax0l0tl  |  April 25 2013, 5:54PM

    Why line the pockets of employers who pay poverty wages?

    |   2
  • ArtfulDodger  |  April 25 2013, 12:56PM

    TheIntuder has a valid point, although not to detract from the genuinely needy, we do need to move away from making the benefit system more profitable than those out to earn a crust, Tax Credits should be the first thing looked at as it allows people to only work 16/24 hours per week and sit back and let the Taxpayer fund the remainder of the working week.... As an Employer, many a time I have had staff turn work down because it interferes with their Tax Credits and besides why would they work when they can get it handed to them... It should be a minimum 30 hours before you qualify for Tax Credits then the onus is on both parties...the Employee to work and the Employer to give a decent amount of hours work...

    |   1
  • Mansands  |  April 24 2013, 4:07PM

    Conservative party vice-chairman Bob Neill said......."frozen council tax for hard-working families and pensioners," REALLY? I know my Council tax has not been frozen. Lying sods the lot of them.

  • hurricane1066  |  April 24 2013, 3:06PM

    Vote ukip

    |   -5
  • hurricane1066  |  April 24 2013, 3:05PM

    Vote ukip

    |   -6
  • Ax0l0tl  |  April 24 2013, 2:05PM

    Try removing the calluses on your knuckles by walking upright.

    |   7
  • TheIntruder  |  April 24 2013, 11:33AM

    Labour analysis shows..." well that is going to be a balanced report isn't it. If anything and anyone has driven the working class into deeper poverty it is the socialist culture of the welfare lifestyle. 'Teach a man to fish, don't give him a fish' . Labour have left generations of working class families totally dependant on state handouts. Welcome to poverty Labour style, it's a socialist utopia.

    |   -2

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