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It's the very poorest who will pay price of reforms

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It's the very poorest who will pay price of reforms

26th April 2013

Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, writes:

Newham is one of the places where the welfare reforms will hit hardest, according to new research.

A study by university researchers into the disproportionate effect of the reforms has places Newham among the 20 districts with the largest absolute loss - £127million a year – attributable to welfare reforms out of 379 areas in Great Britain.

The researchers say that a working age in Newham will lose £580 a year because of the reforms.

I am concerned about the injustice that this report has uncovered.

Although some reform of the welfare system is necessary, I cannot turn a blind eye to the injustice that it is the poorest people in our poorest communities who will be paying the price of the current welfare reforms.

Of course benefits should not be paid to those who don’t need them or to anyone who is claiming them falsely, but in a time of austerity there is actually a greater need to support the poor and to ensure that everyone in society bears the costs of any reductions, especially those who are better able to afford it.

The report called Hitting the Poorest Places Hardest – The Local and Regional Impact of Welfare Reform was written by Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. They have calculated that the reforms will take up to £19 billion a year out of the British economy when they have come fully into effect.

See: http://www.shu.ac.uk/research/cresr/sites/shu.ac.uk/files/hitting-poorest-places-hardest_0.pdf

Source: Newham Recorder, Wednesday 24 April 2013

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