Post by Patrick Torsney on Apr 22, 2013 12:18:09 GMT
Hitting the poorest places hardest:
The local and regional impact of welfare reform
This is a piece of research (download from the link at the bottom) by Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill of the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University that came out this month (April 2013). It was kindly sent to me by David Gooding, the District Manager of BRANCAB. I seem to recall it being in the news very recently too
When the present welfare reforms have come into full effect they will take nearly £19bn a year out of the economy. This is equivalent to around £470 a year for every adult of working age in the country.
The biggest financial losses arise from reforms to incapacity benefits (£4.3bn a year), changes to Tax Credits (£3.6bn a year) and the 1 per cent up-rating of most working-age benefits (£3.4bn a year).
The Housing Benefit reforms result in more modest losses – an estimated £490m a year arising from the ‘bedroom tax’ for example – but for the households affected the sums are nevertheless still large.
Some households and individuals, notably sickness and disability claimants, will be hit by several different elements of the reforms.
The financial impact of the reforms, however, varies greatly across the country. At the extremes, the worst-hit local authority areas lose around four times as much, per adult of working age, as the authorities least affected by the reforms.
Britain’s older industrial areas, a number of seaside towns and some London boroughs are hit hardest. Much of the south and east of England outside London escapes comparatively lightly.
Blackpool, in North West England, is hit worst of all – an estimated loss of more than £900 a year for every adult of working age in the town.
The three regions of northern England alone can expect to lose around £5.2bn a year in benefit income.
As a general rule, the more deprived the local authority, the greater the financial hit.
A key effect of the welfare reforms will be to widen the gaps in prosperity between thebest and worst local economies across Britain.
You can download the document by clicking here. Please note, I reduced its size as the original was nearly 9MB. It's now 5.6MB but it's still a big document so may take a few seconds to download depending on your Internet connection