Welfare reforms ‘will see £1.7bn in benefit spending axed in the region’

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key reforms axing welfare payments to the most vulnerable will take nearly £19bn a year out of the economy and badly hit the North, according to new research.

The analysis by experts at Sheffield Hallam University finds the worst affected places face financial losses of twice the national average and four times as much as the least affected.

Much of the south and east of England outside London escapes comparatively lightly.

The biggest losers include Britain’s older industrial areas places including Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Glasgow, Blackpool and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales as well as some seaside towns.

Yorkshire can expect to lose £1.7bn in benefit income per year, with £5.2bn lost across the North.

Worst affected will be Hull, where financial losses per working age adult will be £630, compared to losses of £290 per adult in Richmondshire.

Prof Steve Fothergill from Sheffield Hallam’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, who led the study, said: “A key effect of the welfare reforms will be to widen the gaps in prosperity between the best and worst local economies across Britain. Our figures also show the coalition government is presiding over national welfare reforms that will impact principally on individuals and communities outside its own political heartlands.”