North East Lincolnshire residents worry over benefit cuts
A PUBLIC consultation on council tax benefits cuts has been met with concern by residents.
As reported in yesterday's Grimsby Telegraph, more than 10,000 people in North East Lincolnshire will receive 24 per cent less in benefits to pay their council tax bills.
From April next year, the grant given to councils across England to meet the cost of council tax benefit will reduce by ten per cent.
This equates to a £1.6 million decrease to the money available here in North East Lincolnshire, so the council is asking residents to give their views on the introduction of a new scheme.
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The authority is asking your thoughts on the introduction of a localised council tax support scheme for the 22,000 claimants in the area, which is affordable within the remaining grant.
This means that roughly 10,500 people will receive about 24 per cent less benefit to help meet their council tax bill.
Tony Watson, 51, of College Street, Cleethorpes, said: "When I work, I am on the minimum wage and I do agency work so I'm really lucky to get a full week. I would much prefer to be working all the time, but it's hard to come by at the moment.
"I'm on housing benefit and council tax benefit gets paid to my landlord. I can barely afford to live at the moment and if they cut that benefit, I will have to pay more – and I just don't have more to pay.
"The other thing is that if I've got less to spend, even if it's only £5 or £10 less, then that is £5 or £10 that is going to the government or council instead of a local business."
Cheryl Silby, 56, of Reynolds Street, Cleethorpes, said: "It shouldn't have to be a case of raising taxes or cutting benefits – they should consider sharing out the burden 50-50.
"I know that benefits are a problem but then people have to live and there aren't many jobs. If they asked me to pay a little bit more and those who are getting benefits were to get a little bit less, I would think it sounded like a fair way of doing things."
Alfred Dumbrell, 66, of Castle Street, said: "As a pensioner, I get council tax benefit and I think it should be left as it is because I can't afford to pay any more than I am now.
"They are already cutting other benefits so we are already stretched.
"The Government should not be cutting the subsidy to councils.
"However, the fact is that they are and the council needs to protect people like me who can't afford to pay more."
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