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Benefit changes hit home at £429 per person

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 24, 2013

Dawn Green

Dawn Green

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WELFARE reforms will hit the people of Burton and its surrounding areas at a rate equivalent to losing more than £400 per working age adult, a new study has shown.

Figures released by Sheffield Hallam University reveal that changes in council tax benefit, local housing allowance and tax credits, among other things, will leave a financial hole to the tune of £429 for each person aged between 16 and 64 by the next financial year.

South Derbyshire will be hit with a loss equal to £379 per working age adult as the changes begin to take effect, the study showed.

Austerity measures were introduced at the beginning of April in a bid to slash the mammoth welfare bill faced by the Government on an annual basis. It was hoped the changes would cut £19 billion a year off the budget – equivalent to £470 for every working age person in the UK.

Locally, Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s (CAB) are already beginning to see the impact of the changes, with more people coming through the door with problems.

Dawn Green, chief executive at East Staffordshire CAB, told The Mail: “We are just starting to see the impact in terms of welfare changes. We are seeing the impact of people having to pay 25 per cent more council tax, we have seen some impact from the bedroom tax and other things.

“I think as people start to get to the point where they realise they can’t maintain their priority bills in terms of making up shortfalls I think we will see more people coming through. We are going to see an increase in people who have the decision of whether to fuel their houses or buy food.”

Changes have hit housing, council tax, incapacity and child benefit, tax credits and disability living allowance. A one per cent cap has also been placed in the increase in benefits year by year. Rises have previously been in line with inflation.

The amounts stated might seem hefty, but both East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire fare well in comparison to many other parts of the UK.

Blackpool topped the table with an impact of more than £900 per person, and Birmingham suffers £607 per working age adult.

In Staffordshire, Cannock was estimated to be the district worst-hit by the changes with £489 per person, and in Derbyshire, Bolsover topped the table with £595 per person.

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10 comments

  • mickshipton  |  April 26 2013, 3:49PM

    Truthmonkey @ 25/04/2013 08:49 "I see on a daily basis people who dont work (not because of illness, disability or caring for someone) eho have sky tv, sit round smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, ordering takeaways. They have massive flat screen tvs, leather sofas, the heating is always set to high and they wear designer clothes. All this and they have never worked a day in their lives". Why don't you name and shame these people then? (of course you won't because they don't exist).

  • Burhan  |  April 25 2013, 11:36AM

    Agree with JohnJarman here. Until we compare the loss income with the average yearly income. It's hard to evaluate the impact it'll have on the poor. Government is playing with people's minds by using inappropriate words stating that working people are worse off than the non-working ones. This has never be the case. And if they're to target the 'lazy' then why are they applying same rule for everyone on benefits. They could have easily stopped benefits for the lazy through individual assessment through job centre plus etc. What was the need for % cut for everybody, no mater if they are genuine cases or not. Also, there own system states that the benefits system is based on minimum requirements of individual needs. Are they trying to say that they’ve been paying too much ? if that’s the case then, it’s the government which should be held accountable, not the vulnerable. As Choccy said earlier, please don't assume that everyone on benefits have a cushy life

  • Truthmonkey  |  April 25 2013, 8:49AM

    I see on a daily basis people who dont work (not because of illness, disability or caring for someone) eho have sky tv, sit round smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, ordering takeaways. They have massive flat screen tvs, leather sofas, the heating is always set to high and they wear designer clothes. All this and they have never worked a day in their lives. It is about time things changed, there are plenty of jobs out there, thats why there is so many eastern europeans coming here. Why should those people who works hard have to struggle to fund the lazy? I have worked since I left school and have never been unemployed, the trouble is now we have raised a generation who think it is acceptable to live on hand outs and the "do gooders" keep supporting them.

  • cetone  |  April 25 2013, 7:21AM

    I feel a crime wave coming on,What choice will some peopls have,??

  • Zmaltez  |  April 25 2013, 5:25AM

    Gullible choccy?? I actually believe that genuine people who need help in hard times should get more support. I believe our handicapped and disabled should be looked after as a priority. BUT I also believe that working age people who decide not to work should have to struggle in life and in so going to work will seem the best option. I live in Newhall where I see plenty and know plenty of these people. So what I want is that security choccy - getting these people to work not take the money but actually contribute, the will ensure it is there when us workers need it.

  • choccy  |  April 25 2013, 12:46AM

    I hope neither of you pair of gullible, ignorant people don't lose your jobs or become ill and have to rely on these 'handouts'! I'm sure you'd do the decent thing and spare the other tax payers the bill and refuse to claim?

  • choccy  |  April 25 2013, 12:45AM

    I hope neither of you pair of gullible, ignorant people don't lose your jobs or become ill and have to rely on these 'handouts'! I'm sure you'd do the decent thing and spare the other tax payers the bill and refuse to claim?

  • onya222  |  April 24 2013, 10:15PM

    I have no sympathy. I am sick of people who claim benefits having a better standard of living than those of us who work. There's an easy solution - get to work then it won't affect you!

  • Zmaltez  |  April 24 2013, 8:52PM

    Nice thanks. I appreciate your informing me about the reduction in the amount of my hard earned money that is given away to the none working, none contributing community. Maybe you should also give them a few more choices than just food OR heating to spend my money. They could give up the ****, booze, takeaways, designer clothes and gadgets until they earn the money themselves?? Just think of it they could then afford both, isn't that what the money's for anyway?

  • JohnJarman  |  April 24 2013, 7:52PM

    Assuming that the figures quoted show an annual loss, it would be informative to all concerned if you could tell us what the monthly 'loss' against actual amounts received, so we may judge for ourselves the level of depravity this 'awful' government is imposing and then show us what the average wage is for the area. Without this information you are merely pandering to the propagandists of the disaffected.

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