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Anti-austerity protest in Manchester

The march will protest at cuts and provide help for the homeless, say organisers Credit: PA

A march against government cuts is planned for Piccadilly Gardens later.

The 'Stand Up To Austerity' protest was organised by two young men who wanted to ensure that the General Election result wasn't the final word on the cuts.

They're asking people to come to the event with provisions for homeless people in Manchester.

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New report on struggle facing low income families

A major new report will look into poverty exploring the problems facing working families in Liverpool. Credit: PA Wire

A major new report will look into poverty exploring the problems facing working families in Liverpool. Researchers followed 30 families over a 12-month period, through weekly spending diaries tracking their income and expenditure and then followed-up by detailed face-to-face interviews.

The report is all the more eloquent and compelling becomes it comes out of the mouths of those directly affected. It is simply heart-breaking and maddening that so many people are struggling to get by like this. It isn’t their fault. These are proud working people, not ‘scroungers’. They are getting up for work every day so they can set an example to their kids.

– Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool

Universal credit rolled out from North West

Controversial benefits shake-up Credit: PA Images

A controversial shake-up of the benefits system that was piloted here in the North West is rolled out across the country, this morning.

Universal credit combines six benefits - including housing benefit, JSA and tax credits - into one single payment.

The scheme's been criticised by the National Audit Office as badly managed and failing to deliver on its targets.

Knowsley residents hardest hit by cuts

The most deprived English councils have suffered the biggest cuts in spending power and most of them are in our region. Nine of the ten poorest and hardest councils are here in the North West.

Manchester tops the table but Knowsley has lost the most with £403.86 less per person to spend that they did in 2011. The league table was produced by researchers at the House of Common.

Manchester, Liverpool, Barrow and Salford all came in the top five councils experiencing the largest cuts to their funding at the same time as having some of the poorest health.

Labour claim the greatest cuts are in areas with the highest numbers of older people living with disabilities but the government says they've been fair.

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