MORE people in the North of England are forced to take handouts than anywhere else in the country, new figures show.
Analysis carried out by the Sunday Post showed the North of England was at ‘breaking point’ with tens of thousands of people taking out crisis loans. The results of the survey showed that Burnley, Blackburn and Hyndburn featured in the top 25 of councils with the most crisis loans issued in 2012-2013.
Blackpool had the highest rate of crisis loans in England, with 390 per 100,000 head of population. Burnley was 9th on the list with 256, Blackburn with Darwen was 20th with 230 and Hyndburn was 25th with 218.
Until March last year, crisis loans were administered by Central Government but last year, councils were allocated shares of £178.2 million-a-year to run local schemes.
The Government has now announced that the money, which could provide help for a short-term crisis such as flooding, sudden loss of income or fleeing a violent partner, will be pulled from next year, leaving councils to foot the bill themselves.
The announcement has led to concerns as to how the struggling north will cope and how much pressure will be put on already-stretched councils.
Deputy Leader of Blackburn with Darwen council Andy Kay said: “There will be an impact on the council but the main concern is how this will impact on residents that may have needed to rely on these loans.
“As you can see from these figures, demand for crisis loans is still very high. The DwP still has a small amount allocated to help people but they don’t advertise that fact.
“It is a concern.”
New figures from the TUC have also revealed that workers in the north west of England have seen their wages drop by almost £2,000 between 2010 and 2013.