A struggling mum said proposed cuts to her council tax benefits could push her family into hardship.
Controversial government moves to slash council tax benefit payments could see thousands of low-income families in Derbyshire lose hundreds of pounds a year.
Mum-of-two Lyndsey Hopkinson, 24, of Newbold, who receives council tax benefit, said: “We will not be able to cope with a cut in benefits. It will have a big effect on us and many other families.
“I don’t have a great deal of money to budget with as it is. Some months we really have to keep it as tight as possible.
“It will also have a massive effect on my sister and she already struggles each month to make her rent payments.
“I’m supposed to be starting university in the new year but this may put a stop to that.”
Lyndsey’s family could be among 7,000 claimants in the Chesterfield area who will be affected by the changes which come into force next April. In Bolsover the figure is 4,300 and 4,000 in NE Derbyshire.
Families may lose up to 25 per cent of the support they receive, which could be around £100 a month, on top of other welfare changes.
Kris Ambler of Advice Derbyshire said: “The very real fear is that these changes will push people into debt through rent arrears and at the very worst leave people at threat of eviction and homelessness; a situation that will cost the taxpayer and the government far more over the longer term.”
Consultation events will be held next month for residents to find out about how the changes will affect them.
Bolsover District Council Leader Cllr Eion Watts said: “These government reforms will have massive implications for some people who currently receive council tax benefit, so it is very important for residents to find out how they could be affected and have their say.”
People can find out more and have their say as follows:
For Bolsover residents:
- Visit www.bolsover.gov.uk
- Phone 01246 242424 (8.00am to 5pm Monday to Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Chesterfield residents:
- Visit www.chesterfield.gov.uk/counciltax
- Phone 01246 345345 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm) or e-mail email@example.com
- Visit the Revenues Hall, Chesterfield or Staveley Housing Office in Staveley Town Centre, or attend one of the following public information sessions:
* Tuesday 4 Sept from 7pm at the Town Hall, Rose Hill - Holmebrook and Rother Community Forum
* Wednesday 5 Sept from 7pm at the Brimington Community Centre, Heywood Street - Brimington and Tapton Community Forum
* Tuesday 18 Sept from 7pm at St. Hughs Church, Littlemoor - Dunston, Moor and St. Helens Community Forum
* Tuesday 18 Sept from 7pm at the African Caribbean Centre, Ashgate Road - Newbold and Brockwell Community Forum
* Wednesday 19 Sept from 7pm, Town Hall, Rose Hill - Hasland and St. Leonards Community Forum
* Tuesday 25 Sept from 7pm, Brookfield Community School - Walton and West Community Forum
* Wednesday 26 Sept from 7pm at the Old Whittington Resource Centre - Barrow Hill and Whittington Community Forum
* Thursday 27 Sept from 7pm at the Stables - Staveley Community Forum
For North East Derbyshire residents:
- Visit www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/counciltax or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone 01246 217720 (8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or attend one of the following public information sessions:
* Tuesday 11 September at the North Wingfield Resource Centre, 9am - 1pm
* Thursday 27 September at the Killamarsh Parish Suite, 9am -1pm
* Monday 1 October at the Clay Cross Social Centre, 12noon - 3pm
* Tuesday 2 October at the Shirland Miner’s Welfare, 3pm - 6pm
* Friday 12 October at Unit 59, Market Street, Eckington, 9am - 1pm
* Tuesday 16 October at Dronfield Sports Centre, 4pm - 7pm
* Saturday 20 October at Grassmoor Methodist Church, 10am - 1pm.