Region ‘hardest hit by austerity’

'Harm': Lynn Collins

'Harm': Lynn Collins

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Councils in the North West have been most affected by Government reductions in local authority spending power, says a new report commissioned by the TUC.

Far-reaching Government cuts work out at an average of £234 per person in the region – compared to an average across England of £130 per person.

And in a case study on Blackpool Council, it found that total expenditure in the council had been cut by around a quarter since 2010.

The new analysis was published today by the TUC and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “Cuts are harming the most vulnerable in our society and in light of the devolution debate that is taking place, it is even more important that we set out a proper vision for public services.”

The report, Austerity Uncovered, looks at the impacts of austerity, focusing upon how changes in publicly-funded services affect both people and places across the country, now and in the years to come.

The report, commissioned by the TUC, shows that the government’s austerity plans have considerably increased in scale, with cuts now extending well into the next parliament.

The report claims we are now only half way through a nine-year programme of austerity.

The report says that by 2015–16 the government will have reduced its funding to local authorities by an estimated 37 per cent.

CLES Chief Executive Neil McInroy said: “The North West is particularly susceptible to austerity measures.

“The region has historically had a high demand for public services and continues to do so. The challenges remain acute.”