Rural areas pay ‘more for less’

High Peak MP Andrew Bingham has joined a campaign which highlights how people in rural areas earn less but pay more tax.

He has been appointed a Parliamentary Patron of the Rural Fair Share campaign – which brings together Members of Parliament from all parties, along with organisations, community groups, and individuals concerned about the welfare of our rural communities.

Mr Bingham said: “Rural areas tend to be good stewards of public funds and make do with what is offered.

“This has sometimes been used as an excuse to provide them with less funding. In tough times it is essential that we move to a fairer allocation of limited public resources that give rural areas such as the High Peak the resources they need.

“The Rural Fair Share campaign supports impartial, objective, needs based policy which is equitable to all.

“It will also help Members of Parliament who represent the countryside to do a better job of making our case about the needs of rural areas.”

According to a report by the Rural Services Network, rural residents earn less, on average, than those in cities, pay council tax which is £100 higher per head, and see urban areas receive government grants 50 per cent higher per head than those in the countryside.

This means people in the country earn less, pay higher council tax and then receive substantially less support for services.

Delivering services in sparse, rural areas also tends to be more expensive, which can add to the burden.

lA copy of the Rural Services Network report outlining these issues can be found at: http://www.grahamstuart.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Costs-of-Providing-Services-in-Rural-Areas-August-2011.pdf