Labour promise on devolution to end cuts to most deprived cities

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DEPRIVED parts of England have been hit by spending cuts 16 times greater than the most affluent areas since the coalition took power, Labour has claimed.

The 10 council areas classed as most deprived – including Hull and Middlesbrough among six Northern authorities – have lost around £782 per household while wealthier areas have seen just a £48 fall, according to the party’s analysis.

Shadow communities secretary and Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn accused the Government of taking most from those who have the least and pledged to devolve more cash and powers under a Labour government.

In a letter to council leaders, he said: “The Prime Minister and the Local Government Secretary say that tough times involve tough choices, but they have forgotten one very important principle. Tough times demand tough choices that are fair.”

Households in the London borough of Newham have been hardest hit with spending power down by £1,002. Cuts in Hull amounted to £628. Some Surrey councils saw an increase.

Hull North Labour MP Diana Johnson said: “These updated figures show that this Lib Dem-backed Tory Government has taken the equivalent of £628 from every household in Hull and given it to the most affluent areas in the Home Counties. It shows what a sham David Cameron’s claim that ‘we’re all in it together’ was.”

Local government Minister and Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said local government “was strangled in red tape by Labour who turned a blind eye to massive waste and inefficiency... and ran up massive public debts”.