North-South divide

The traditional divide between northern and southern England will be highlighted dramatically by the government's round of spending cuts, according to research by Experian.

The investigation of 324 local authorities found that those areas in the North of England, particularly the North-East, are especially vulnerable to cuts because of their high dependence on the public sector for employment.

The government has stated that it will attempt to distribute the pain of the comprehensive spending review fairly between income groups and regionally, but the research suggests that the task it faces in doing so is monumental.

With heavy reliance on the public sector in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it remains to be seen what the impact on the devolved administrations will be.

The areas which are particularly vulnerable tend to be strongholds for the Labour party, and the coalition parties are unlikely to gain support in these regions if the negative effects of the spending review are perceived to have had a disproportionate effect on their economies and employment.

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