Government benefits cuts will leave average Plymouth adult £551 worse off
CONTROVERSIAL Government welfare reforms will leave the average Plymouth adult £551 worse off, researchers claim.
And the benefits changes will take £93million out of the city's economy, say academics at Sheffield Hallam University.
In Cornwall, the average working-age adult will be £521 out of pocket each year.
Devon and Cornwall as a whole will take a £514million hit to its economy when the benefits changes kick in, according to the new figures.
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MPs, union leaders and people relying on welfare in the region warned the Westcountry's poor economy would get poorer and the most vulnerable would be forced into debt.
Professors Steve Fothergill and Christina Beatty, from Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, who led the study, argued the figures underlined a north-south national divide as the most deprived local authorities across Britain would be hit hardest.
Residents in Hart in Hampshire will lose just £240, compared to £910 in Blackpool.
The national average is £470, meaning Plymouth people will take a bigger hit than most.
The study assessed the financial impact of changes to housing benefit, disability living allowance, child benefit, tax credits, council tax benefit and several other hand-outs.
Many welfare reforms came into force last week, and by the time they take full effect they will take nearly £19billion a year out of the economy.