30,000 face cut to Sheffield council tax benefit

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COUNCIL tax benefit for 30,000 Sheffield households is set to be reduced as the latest Government cut comes into force.

The result will be an increase of £3.76 per week for a family living in a Band A house, the council said.

From the next financial year, instead of council tax benefit being handled by the Government, control is being devolved to councils.

The cost of covering Sheffield’s council tax benefits is currently around £46 million.

But from next April the amount of money the Government will provide under the new arrangements is 10 per cent lower.

Pensioners, who make up half of Sheffield’s claimants, are not allowed to lose out under the changes, so the cut to the benefit falls on the remaining 30,000 households with people of working age.

Sheffield Council’s Labour leader, Coun Julie Dore, said: “The Government’s claim of a 10 per cent cut to council tax benefit is misleading.

“There will, in fact be a 20 per cent cut in what we have available to cover the benefit for those households.”

The changes will not affect the single person’s 25 per cent discount, or exemption for students.

Sheffield Council said it has to make changes otherwise the Government will impose a ‘default’ scheme. The council’s cabinet will meet to discuss the issue on Wednesday.