by Kam Sandhu – @KamBass
The sick and disabled will be financially hit the most, by several different welfare reforms, according to a report from Sheffield Hallam University.
Despite a media focus on the ‘bedroom tax’, the report – entitled ‘Hitting The Poorest Places Hardest’, explains that the largest financial loss will be to incapacity benefits, which will lose £4.3bn a year. Those affected by new incapacity benefit reforms stand to lose an average of £3,500 a year. For people affected by the changeover from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments, they will lose £3,000 a year, on average.
These same individuals are may also face reductions in housing benefits, which will see a further £1,000 loss per household. A huge hit.
The report aimed to see how the reforms would affect different areas around Britain, and found that ‘as a general rule the most deprived local authorities across Britain are hit the hardest.’ The top three sections of Britain were older industrial areas such as Glasgow, some London boroughs including Hackney and Brent, and seaside towns which includes the most affected town – Blackpool, which stands to lose over £900 per working adult.
The report explained that UK ministers ‘take the view that the welfare reforms will increase financial incentives to take up employment and because more people will look for work, more people will find work. ‘ This assumes that extra supply of labour will create extra demand, however, this theory has been thwarted by previous economists and does not sit as a comfortable premise for a plan against unemployment, particularly in a struggling economy.
Instead, the report concludes that hitting the most deprived areas hardest will in fact, cause a ‘knock-on consequence’ by taking out large amounts of benefits, it will negatively affect local spending and local employment and interest by companies of local business, causing a deeper ‘downward spiral’.