From the TUC

Local government cuts hurt the vulnerable most

14 Dec 2010, by in Public services

The press release for Eric Pickles’ announcement on funding for local authorities claimed that this settlement is about “protecting the vulnerable.” His own Department’s figures undermine that claim.

This is a truly awful settlement – the (Tory-controlled) Local Government Association called it “the toughest LG finance settlement in living memory.” The Financial Times’ Westminster Blog examined DCLG’s claim that the cuts in central government funding for councils are “only” 4.4 per cent on average and capped at a maximum of 8.9 per cent. They revealed that these figures are only achieved by taking the cut as a proportion of all local authorities’ income; as a proportion of the grant its much higher – an average of 10 per cent this year, up to 17 per cent in some authorities.

But even if you accept the DCLG way of looking at the figures, the claim that they have been designed to protect the vulnerable is simply unsustainable. In 2007 the Department published a set of Indices of Deprivation to help the last government concentrate support on those areas that need it most.

There are 354 local authorities on these indices and there is an overall ranking, from Liverpool at number 1, to Hart at number 354. If the grants were truly being allocated to protect the most vulnerable, the Councils facing the highest cut should have high numbers on this index. If the cuts were neutral, not making things worse or better, there should be a mix of high and low numbers.

In fact, of the 37 local authorities facing the maximum reduction, only two are less deprived than the average. The six most deprived Councils are all facing the maximum cut:

Local authority
DCLG Indices of Deprivation
Average Score Ranking
Liverpool

1

Hackney

2

Tower Hamlets

3

Manchester

4

Knowsley

5

Newham

6

Middlesbrough

9

Hull

11

Blackburn with Darwen

17

Burnley

21

Hartlepool

23

Rochdale

25

Barrow-in-Furness

29

Halton

30

Hastings

31

South Tyneside

38

Hyndburn

40

Doncaster

41

Pendle

44

St. Helens

47

Preston

48

North East Lincolnshire

49

Bolsover

55

Great Yarmouth

58

Norwich

62

Thanet

65

Corby

75

Chesterfield

77

Copeland

78

Ashfield

81

Bassetlaw

94

West Somerset

106

Boston

109

Harlow

121

Fenland

139

Breckland

213

Ashford

227

Once again, the government’s claims that front line services would not be hurt by the cuts and that the burden would be shouldered by those best able to bear it are looking very thin indeed.

9 Responses to Local government cuts hurt the vulnerable most

  1. Tweets that mention Local government cuts hurt the vulnerable most | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Dec 14th 2010, 5:22 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ToUChstone blog, Kevan Nelson and Northern TUC, ComCareAdults Journo. ComCareAdults Journo said: RT @touchstoneblog: Local government cuts hurt the vulnerable most http://bit.ly/hbcorR […]

  2. Karl Rogers
    Dec 15th 2010, 8:34 am

    Again we can all see that the Tories are looking after their own, Ashford on the bottom, Harlow 4th from botto that say’s it all. When are the working class going to get up and do something about this.

  3. steve
    Dec 15th 2010, 3:26 pm

    40 years ago i left school between labour& cons thay have brougth this country to its knees. millions lost there jobs,
    manufacturing, minning ,gone to china,india,these had nothink 40 years ago,it be us who will end up with nothink,i watch the house of commons on the bbc mps& lords its like watching the muppet show,the only people they care about
    is there selfs no matter how bad things get cus, it does not affect them. they are a dissgrace to this country, this is why people are protesting in this country,and others in europe because of the mess of the goverments. and you the TUC HEAD OF THE UNIONS LET THE GOVERMENTS PAST AND PRESENT WALK ALL OVER YOU. unions donate hundred of thousands of pounds to labour party why? look at the mess we are in now the conservertives are in god help us.
    union leaders earning 100,000+per year pension sick pay perks ect ect ect,while there members earning min wage no pension,sick pay, its a dissgrace who side are you on ,
    when they tell you to jump do you say how high.ARTHER SARGILL WAS ON THE FRONT LINE WITH IS MEMBERS BUSTING A GUT TRYING TO SAVE THE MINNING JOBS, WE MIGHT STILL HAVE THEM IF THE ELECTRICAINS BACK THEM .
    BUT WHAT DID THEY DO WALK OUT OF THE TUC CONFREENCE AND STUCK TWO FINGERS UP TO THE REST OF THE UNIONS. this country as had it, thanks to the unions
    leaders who talk the talk on tv but what good as it done

  4. Matt
    Dec 15th 2010, 9:05 pm

    I dont understand what the table is supposed to indicate?

    Is it just the indices of deprivation?

  5. Richard Exell

    Richard Exell
    Dec 16th 2010, 9:31 am

    Dear Matt,

    The table shows the local authorities that face the maximum reduction in their grants, ranked by their place on the Index of Deprivation.

    Richard

  6. rosita stefanyszyn
    Dec 19th 2010, 4:57 pm

    In reply to Steve on the 15th, I think I can feel his pain – but – to condem (sorry!) the unions for the working class demise is fundamentally wrong. How would the Labour party survive against all the ruling classes huge power they hold with all their finacial clout that they contribute to the Tories. Money is power in our society. We would have no rights if left to the ruling classes. It was Labour who brought in massive improvements to the NHS., the minimum wage, sure start, the teenage students’ further education payments, etc. Admittedly Blaire did many things, like the top-up student fees, bringing privatisation into the Health service, the War! etc. My point is that between all the parties who all do some things quite wrong which we don’t agree with, to vote Labour is the better of all the parties and generally the fairer party. AND they are not such big liars as the Condems. We all realize that politions are economical with the truth but this coalition has, lied, and is, still just lying, lying lying.

  7. Ian
    Dec 29th 2010, 5:00 pm

    This Tories government do not change at aii hit hit the poor if the cuts effected the tours that would not cut.it’s like I say it’s the poor that pay pay people need to sand together and stop this because if we don’t the govenment will keep putting more bills on the poor and workers we got to stand up aginst the government now we need back bone came on please. I know there’s got to be cuts yes but make it fair for all of us

  8. Tony Foster
    Feb 9th 2011, 10:51 pm

    Deprived areas like Liverpool and Hackney can proudly say that they take their national responsibility seriously, by providing shelter for the poor. The fact that wealthier boroughs side-step this responsibility by simply offering little or no provisions for the poor, is disgraceful.

    Now, after years of helping the poor these boroughs are to be penalised through cuts. When my family arrived in London, they had little more than nothing. Thanks to the support of a deprived borough, namely Newham, every member of my family has gone on to do very well and contribute good money through taxes.

    Deprived areas are often a place where people can gather themselves, and with a little help from the local authority they or their children can embark on the next and better journey through life.