MP hits out at how ‘scandalous’ government policy impacts South Tyneside

Emma Lewell-Buck, South Shields MP.

Emma Lewell-Buck, South Shields MP.

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South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has branded the Government’s economic policy as ‘scandalous’ after a survey showed that people in South Tyneside are each set to be £588 worse off than in 2010.

The borough came seventh from the bottom of a league table of the areas hit hardest by Government cuts, according to the Specialist Interest Group Of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA).

In 2015/16, the council had a net revenue budget of £136m but, for 2016/17, this was reduced to £131m.

Mrs Lewell-Buck, shadow minister for communities and local government, says it’s scandalous the borough, which is one of the most deprived local authority districts in the country – according to the latest English Indices of Deprivation – has been further hit this way.

She said: “Nobody should have to suffer cuts as brutal as these. It’s scandalous that the Government does not govern for all and allows the boroughs that can least afford it, to take the brunt of their cuts.

“Why should families, schoolchildren, the elderly – all the hard-working people of South Tyneside – have to lose £588 each since 2010 when they pay their fair share of taxes?

“The Conservatives have taken £3.5billion out of the North in the last five years and the pain is set to continue under Chancellor George Osborne’s deeply unfair budget.

“Only Labour is standing up for local communities like South Tyneside.”

She added: “In the context of these cuts, George Osborne’s claims for a Northern Powerhouse lose all credibility – none of us are fooled by his empty rhetoric. We feel we are given scraps from the table.”