Commenting on the report, Steve Houghton, the SIGOMA chair and leader of Barnsley Metropolitan Council said: 'This report comes at an crucial time as ministers consider a response to the consultation on a new method for government funding of local government.
'The report reinforces our view that current measures discriminate against our member councils and that the index of multiple deprivation is a vital measure to consider when tackling poverty and deprivation.'
Three key areas of agreement are:
The report argues that the median income measure of poverty is very
unreliable and should be abandoned as the headline measure of poverty, a
change, which SIGOMA have been advocating for many years.
Second, the report argues that the budget standards methodology is useful
for setting poverty lines for different household types, which fits with
SIGOMA's call for a proper appreciation of the different circumstances and
costs faced in different areas by different household types.
Third, the report argues that poverty thresholds can usefully be
supplemented with measures of multiple deprivation to check that poverty
thresholds are in the correct place. This chimes with SIGOMA's belief that
not only income but also measures of multiple deprivation are important for
the government to consider in trying to tackle poverty and deprivation.
1. The 48 local councils that make up the Special Interest Group of
Municipal Authorities outside London (SIGOMA) have long been campaigning
that multiple deprivation should be taken into account when deriving a new
local government funding formula.
2. In order for the new funding arrangements to reflect the problems and
meet the needs of the majority of England's citizens, SIGOMA believes they
must also: properly take account of multiple deprivation; be realistic about
the 'extra' cost of services to certain councils; ensure people have the
ability to pay; and address the consequences of decline. For more
information visit www.sigoma.gov.uk.