Local MP Debbie Abrahams Twitter account has endless tweets about the benefits system and failures as a consequence of the Governments ill thought out universal credit system. What she most definitely is not obsessed with communicating is just how many benefit claims are being made in certain areas of Oldham year after year decade after decade with no changes in sight. Chronic-Oldham has decided to share some of these figures, all this data can all be verified by exploring the governments data portal at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk
The top areas for universal credit claims in Oldham are St Mary’s 014 & 022 with 1,669 claims which is 38% higher than any other area, Werneth/Coppice 035 (which is 023 &025) with 1,039 claims, Coldhurst 016 with 891, Medlock Vale 029 with 831 claims & 024 which crosses Coldhurst & Alexandra with 727 claims.
The top areas for housing benefit claims in Oldham are St Mary’s 014 & 022 with 1,960 claims which is 45% higher than any other area and is where Labour Oldham Council want to build hundreds of new homes, Medlock Vale 029 with 889, Hollinwood 030 with 809 claims, Waterhead 012 with 789, Coldhust 016 with 748 & 024 which crosses Coldhurst & Alexandra with 725.
The top areas for carers allowance payments in Oldham are St Mary’s 014 & 022 with 680 claims that’s 15.5% of all claims in Oldham and three times more than any other area, 024 which crosses Coldhurst & Alexandra with 226, Medlock Vale 029 with 225, Hollinwood 030 with 214, Werneth 025 with 213 claims.
The top areas for Personal Independence Payments in Oldham are St Mary’s 014 & 022 with 893 claims that is 41% higher than any other area, Werneth/Coppice 035 with 525 claims, Medlock Vale 029 with 458, Waterhead 012 with 372, Hollinwood 030 with 367 claims & 026 which crosses St Mary’s and Alexandra with 334 claims.
Numbers such as 014, 030 refer to MSOA areas which are a designated form of measurement.
Using government national insurance data as an indicator shows that since 2011 the St Mary’s ward has received more adult migrants than any other area in Oldham followed by Coldhurst and Clarksfield. While Debbie Abrahams is right to highlight failures in the benefit system she should also highlight areas that have been excused their ongoing anomalous rates of benefit claims and lifelong dependency and levels of unskilled immigration into these areas that Oldham neither needs nor can accommodate.