Benefit changes increase income inequalities between communities
My analysis of the impact of the emergency budget benefit changes shows that disadvantaged communities are hit the hardest. The two changes, which will result in existing claimants feeling a real loss in income, are the proposed 20% cut in Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants and the reduction in spending on Tax Credits. Budget documents show these will contribute £1,075 million and £1,225 million respectively in 2014/15 to the deficit reduction strategy.
The proportion of the working age population who are receiving DLA varies from 11.40% in Neath Port Talbot (Wales) to 1.97% in Hart (Hampshire). Not surprisingly DLA claim rates are a reflection of the health of a community, and are an indicator of health inequalities.
The proportion of children who live in households, which are supported by Tax Credit income, varies from 92.10% in the City of Kingston upon Hull to 36.76% in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Tax Credit claim rates seem to be a good indicator of the relative prosperity of an area, and of income inequalities.
So the £2.3 billion reduction in spending on these benefits will be a body blow to some of the Britain’s most disadvantaged communities.
Comparing parliamentary constituencies, Glasgow East is predicted to lose over £6 million a year in income from Tax Credits and DLA. People in work will suffer all the Tax Credit losses. By way of contrast the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is predicted to lose £1.7 million. These losses work out at £108.27 per working age person in Glasgow East and £17 per working age person in Kensington and Chelsea.
All the details can be found in a number of Excel workbooks, which can be downloaded from http://www.tameside-cls.org.uk/pages/menubudget2010.html