Cut in council tax benefits to hit ‘vulnerable’

Cllr Simon Spencer
Cllr Simon Spencer

A CUT in council tax benefits ordered by ministers could hit more than 30,000 families in Derbyshire.

Local authorities are to cut the amount they pay out to help households who struggle with council tax bills, by ten per cent.

It will mean those receiving the benefit – mainly people out of work, on low incomes or the disabled – could have to pay more of their full council tax bill.

Andy Parkes, of Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre said the cuts would have a huge impact on some of the county’s most vulnerable people.

He added: “This will put people under a lot of pressure financially.

“It could force people out of their properties and create more homelessness.”

But Cllr Simon Spencer, deputy leader at Derbyshire County Council, insisted criticism of central Government over the ten per cent council tax benefit cut was unfair.

He said: “The country is in a dreadful financial situation as a consequence of the previous Government. We need to close the deficit. My question to Labour is ‘what would you do instead?’”

The cuts will come into effect next year.