The Tories, supported by their Liberal Democrat colleagues, have made the biggest cuts to the public sector in funding to local councils.
They have distributed these massive cuts unfairly. The poorest communities are being hit hardest at a time when people are already struggling under the Tory-led Government’s cost-of-living crisis.
“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.”
The Audit Commission report, ‘Tough Times 2013: Councils’ financial health in challenging Times’ (November 2013)
Figures from the House of Commons library show that the North East is bearing the greatest burden compared to wealthier Southern regions.
The cumulative reduction in central government funding for Stockton Borough Council between 2011-12 and 2015-16 is 26.66%. Even bigger cuts have been imposed on Redcar and Cleveland (29.33%) and Middlesbrough (30.54%).
Meanwhile in leafy Surrey, the decrease is less than 1% for Surrey Heath (0.75%) and Waverley (0.37%) with Epsom and Ewell receiving an INCREASE of 3.51%. Not only are these in the least deprived local authority areas, but they are all represented in Parliament by Government Cabinet ministers.
If there is any justice in this shifting of funds from the poorer north to the richer south I am yet to see it. The Tories and Liberal Democrats are all keen to say that the poorer areas get more than the richer ones, but they are not getting enough to meet the needs of their communities and that is surely the point.
They do not understand how these unfair decisions impact on local communities that rely on services for the young, the elderly and those most in need.