My cousin, who is in her 80s, and who grew up in Liverpool, referred to someone as not even being "in the ha'penny specs" compared to someone else. Neither I nor her son knew the expression, but there are a couple of references on Google - not many though, alas. There is this comment from a reader of the website Liverpool Confidential: "... along with places like Leeds and Sheffield - cities that most of us can remember were not even in the ha'penny specs with Liverpool, once upon a time...???"
My cousin told me that specs here is short for spectators, and the ha'penny seats were the very cheapest seats in the cinema. So, if you are in the ha'penny specs, you are at the bottom of the pile, below everyone else. I found these sentences in a book by Joan Jonker on the internet (Joan Jonker is a Liverpudlian who writes family sagas and similar books): "I can't wait to see Rosie in her wedding dress 'cos she'll be a knockout. We won't be in the ha'penny specks with her, she'll put everyone in the shade."
Ha'penny is another way of writing halfpenny, and it was a coin of low worth. The phrase in the ha'penny specs seems to be associated with Liverpool, but it may have originated in Ireland. In his Dictionary of Slang Jonathon Green has ha'penny boy (a worthless unimportant person) and ha'penny place (a worthless unimportant place, position or status), although he dates these phrases back to the 1960s, later than my cousin's references and memories. Ha'penny place is still a fairly common expression in Ireland. The Irish journalist Mary Kenny wrote this sentence in the Irish Independent recently: "The priest even threw in a line about sexual sins only being in the ha'penny place next to the sins of grinding the faces of the poor."