Poorest hit hardest by austerity, new data shows

The most deprived areas of the country are being hit hardest by the government's deficit reduction programme, new information from Labour suggests.

Analysis of two independent reports shows the north-east of England is the worst hit area with £566 per head being cut, while the south-east is the least affected, with just £292 per head being cut.

"The Tories are zeroing in on areas in need and hitting them hard – twice," shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said.

"Communities facing the biggest hit to local government are also losing most from cuts to their tax credits and benefits, yet instead of helping working families the Tories are giving millionaires a tax cut."

The worst hit area in the country is Knowsley in Merseyside, which is losing £850 a head according to the figures.

Some £515 of the total comes from welfare cuts and £336 from local government cuts.

The least hit area is Mole Valley in Surrey which loses just £182 per head – £164 in welfare cuts and £18 in local government cuts.

Labour assessed the figures by taking welfare cuts information from Sheffield Hallam University and combining it with datasets from Newcastle city council on local authority spending cuts.

By region, the loss per head is as follows:

  • North East                 £566
  • London                      £511
  • North West                £508
  • Yorks and Humber    £421
  • West Midlands           £388
  • East Midlands            £364
  • South West               £334
  • East                           £324
  • South East                 £292