Benefit cuts which could hit the needy hardest are approved by Malvern Hills councillors.

Benefit cuts which could hit the needy hardest are approved by Malvern Hills councillors.

Benefit cuts which could hit the needy hardest are approved by Malvern Hills councillors.

First published in News

PLANS to change a council tax discount scheme which could hit some of the most vulnerable in society have been approved by Malvern Hills District Council just weeks after they were narrowly rejected.

The changes, which will save £40,000 a year, are needed because the government abolished Council Tax Benefit a year ago, leaving local authorities to pay for discounts.

Coun Sheila Young said at a council meeting this week: “This council’s proposed discount scheme will in fact have a significant adverse impact on the living, environmental and economic conditions of the most vulnerable communities in the district.”

The changes include counting child benefit and maintenance payments as part of claimants’ incomes, capping payments to claimants with £6,000 or more in savings, stopping payments of £10 per week or less, and stopping backdated payments.

However, the proposal also includes establishing a hardship fund of £25,000 to help people in genuine need.

Coun Paul Cumming, the finance portfolio holder, said the council has to find savings because of increasing pressure on budgets. “Most of the efficiency savings that can be made have been made and we will soon be in the position of having to cut services,” he said.

But he said the council should expect Worcestershire County Council to help out by doubling the hardship fund to £50,000.

Council leader David Hughes seconded the motion, and Lib Dem leader Tom Wells said he would vote for it but the impact of the changes should be carefully scrutinised.

The scheme originally came up before councillors in December, but they turned it down it by a vote of 16-15. They then agreed to revisit the idea after getting a special briefing on the scheme and its impact.

The briefing was held on Tuesday afternoon (January 8) before a specially-arranged meeting the same evening. And this time the scheme was approved 20-11 with three abstentions.

After the vote was taken, coun Mike Morgan, who chairs the overview and scrutiny committee, said he will make sure that it will study the impact of the changes.

Comments (12)

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5:44pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

Excellent news, perhaps some of these lifestyle benefit scroungers will go get a job and stop breeding whilst expecting hard working tax payers to fund their sky dishes and free housing !!!!
Excellent news, perhaps some of these lifestyle benefit scroungers will go get a job and stop breeding whilst expecting hard working tax payers to fund their sky dishes and free housing !!!! Geoffery1966
  • Score: 14

4:51am Fri 10 Jan 14

claire 3009 says...

Actually some of us work with a decent job and now have to rely on child benefit to live ..and thats just to provide the basics. ...once again councillors have no thought or idea about the real cost of living with children whilst WORKING. .
Actually some of us work with a decent job and now have to rely on child benefit to live ..and thats just to provide the basics. ...once again councillors have no thought or idea about the real cost of living with children whilst WORKING. . claire 3009
  • Score: -16

4:40pm Sun 12 Jan 14

sarah and her chickens says...

MHDC would rather cut this benefit ,which is actually for those that are working or are elderly on low incomes, and spend over £70 000 on wheelie bins we do not need. They need to start to learn to be flexible with the budgets. Times have changed and whilst collecting glass at your doorstep might be a nice idea the people I work for being able to afford to heat their homes is far far more important. Wake up MHDC.
MHDC would rather cut this benefit ,which is actually for those that are working or are elderly on low incomes, and spend over £70 000 on wheelie bins we do not need. They need to start to learn to be flexible with the budgets. Times have changed and whilst collecting glass at your doorstep might be a nice idea the people I work for being able to afford to heat their homes is far far more important. Wake up MHDC. sarah and her chickens
  • Score: -21

6:13pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Geep says...

Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.
Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life. Geep
  • Score: -18

5:45pm Mon 13 Jan 14

pudniw_gib says...

Some of us are on low wages through no fault of our own and are stuck further into debt by government policy and this has been made worse by our local council piling the misery on for the poor. Bet they could have found savings elsewhere that would not have impacted on the low waged in our community.
I have had to apply for help paying council tax this winter, if I don't get it I might just sign on for a couple of months, if this means applying for jobs I am not qualified for to meet the criteria then so be it. The system sucks.
Some of us are on low wages through no fault of our own and are stuck further into debt by government policy and this has been made worse by our local council piling the misery on for the poor. Bet they could have found savings elsewhere that would not have impacted on the low waged in our community. I have had to apply for help paying council tax this winter, if I don't get it I might just sign on for a couple of months, if this means applying for jobs I am not qualified for to meet the criteria then so be it. The system sucks. pudniw_gib
  • Score: -28

7:10pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

Geep wrote:
Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.
I have worked all of my life too and see too many satellite dished, Tennant drinking, smoking layabouts in social housing. I do not mind paying tax to the genuinely needy and particularly OAPs who get ripped off because of scroungers.
For your information I do not read the Mail and never will, Cretin
[quote][p][bold]Geep[/bold] wrote: Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.[/p][/quote]I have worked all of my life too and see too many satellite dished, Tennant drinking, smoking layabouts in social housing. I do not mind paying tax to the genuinely needy and particularly OAPs who get ripped off because of scroungers. For your information I do not read the Mail and never will, Cretin Geoffery1966
  • Score: 24

6:21pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Geep says...

Geoffery1966 wrote:
Geep wrote:
Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.
I have worked all of my life too and see too many satellite dished, Tennant drinking, smoking layabouts in social housing. I do not mind paying tax to the genuinely needy and particularly OAPs who get ripped off because of scroungers.
For your information I do not read the Mail and never will, Cretin
Sorry, Geoffery1966, I am not a Cretin, or were you just signing your real name? In fact, a cretin is caused by a medical condition usually in mid Europe due to a lack of certain chemicals in the diet. I apologise for assuming you were a Mail reader. Sun or Sunday Sport maybe?

Having worked for the Dept of Employment in the past, I do appreciate your original comment, & some of your additional ones. But please do not tar everyone who is on the dole with the same brush. And please do not descend to calling someone insulting names just because they happen to disagree with you.
[quote][p][bold]Geoffery1966[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Geep[/bold] wrote: Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.[/p][/quote]I have worked all of my life too and see too many satellite dished, Tennant drinking, smoking layabouts in social housing. I do not mind paying tax to the genuinely needy and particularly OAPs who get ripped off because of scroungers. For your information I do not read the Mail and never will, Cretin[/p][/quote]Sorry, Geoffery1966, I am not a Cretin, or were you just signing your real name? In fact, a cretin is caused by a medical condition usually in mid Europe due to a lack of certain chemicals in the diet. I apologise for assuming you were a Mail reader. Sun or Sunday Sport maybe? Having worked for the Dept of Employment in the past, I do appreciate your original comment, & some of your additional ones. But please do not tar everyone who is on the dole with the same brush. And please do not descend to calling someone insulting names just because they happen to disagree with you. Geep
  • Score: -1

8:29pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

Geep wrote:
Geoffery1966 wrote:
Geep wrote:
Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.
I have worked all of my life too and see too many satellite dished, Tennant drinking, smoking layabouts in social housing. I do not mind paying tax to the genuinely needy and particularly OAPs who get ripped off because of scroungers.
For your information I do not read the Mail and never will, Cretin
Sorry, Geoffery1966, I am not a Cretin, or were you just signing your real name? In fact, a cretin is caused by a medical condition usually in mid Europe due to a lack of certain chemicals in the diet. I apologise for assuming you were a Mail reader. Sun or Sunday Sport maybe?

Having worked for the Dept of Employment in the past, I do appreciate your original comment, & some of your additional ones. But please do not tar everyone who is on the dole with the same brush. And please do not descend to calling someone insulting names just because they happen to disagree with you.
You were the one that started the insults with "Mil reader" jibe, and here you go again with "Sun & Sport" I have never read any of those rags .So refrain from throwing insults if you do not wish to receive them.
You are obviously fairly sad.
[quote][p][bold]Geep[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Geoffery1966[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Geep[/bold] wrote: Geoffery1966 - nice to see such an intelligent & well balanced comment. Glad you could take the time off from reading the Mail to grace us with your views. Oh, before you decide to slag me off as a 'doler' I'm 53, & have worked nearly all of my life.[/p][/quote]I have worked all of my life too and see too many satellite dished, Tennant drinking, smoking layabouts in social housing. I do not mind paying tax to the genuinely needy and particularly OAPs who get ripped off because of scroungers. For your information I do not read the Mail and never will, Cretin[/p][/quote]Sorry, Geoffery1966, I am not a Cretin, or were you just signing your real name? In fact, a cretin is caused by a medical condition usually in mid Europe due to a lack of certain chemicals in the diet. I apologise for assuming you were a Mail reader. Sun or Sunday Sport maybe? Having worked for the Dept of Employment in the past, I do appreciate your original comment, & some of your additional ones. But please do not tar everyone who is on the dole with the same brush. And please do not descend to calling someone insulting names just because they happen to disagree with you.[/p][/quote]You were the one that started the insults with "Mil reader" jibe, and here you go again with "Sun & Sport" I have never read any of those rags .So refrain from throwing insults if you do not wish to receive them. You are obviously fairly sad. Geoffery1966
  • Score: 3

2:28am Thu 16 Jan 14

only me.. says...

I currently receive benefits as I very recently had a mental breakdown and I had to leave my employment. I also have had a very serious illness. I do not have satellite television, as one reader wrote and i do not have hordes of kids. I have two young children. I have to pay the "bedroom Tax" as according to the government I have a spare bedroom because my son and daughter are allowed to share a bedroom until the eldest (my daughter) is 10. There is eighteen months between them. I have a car to get the children to school as a necessity and the car was given to me by family. I struggle to make ends meet. I have been to the food bank twice very recently and I am very grateful to the volunteers at the food bank who went out of their way to make me feel a little less humiliated. Infact, one lady was absolutely marvellous and gave me a little gift for the children to share at christmas. I have had to take out one of those high interest short term loans to pay my gas and electric bill., although I don't think a year is short. My credit rating is not good enough to enable me to take out a loan with a lower interest rate. I cannot afford clothes for myself and the childrens clothes come from charity shops, their uniforms come from their schools second hand clothes box. Some of the people that have to claim benefits are not scroungers and certainly do not live lavishly. I can only assume that maybe some people are able to afford luxuries because they have a fairly large number of children and therefore receive a considerable amount of both child tax credit and child benefit. I find that it becomes cheaper per person to feed when you have 2+ people to feed so therefore the more children you have, the cheaper it becomes per child to feed and possibly the money can be made to go further. This is just my assumption, it is not something I am stating as a fact. I am not asking for sympathy I am merely asking that people on benefits are not all tarred with the same brush. Also, before anybody says that I am stupid for taking out one of those ridiculous loans, I DO KNOW it was stupid but it was also my only option that I had left as the gas and electric had to be paid. It's not like I took the loan out to splurge on Christmas presents! Please can people stop whipping up a frenzy and realise that there are many genuine benefit claimants out there and we are feeling more and more worthless and ashamed by the sweeping comments that are being made by some.
I currently receive benefits as I very recently had a mental breakdown and I had to leave my employment. I also have had a very serious illness. I do not have satellite television, as one reader wrote and i do not have hordes of kids. I have two young children. I have to pay the "bedroom Tax" as according to the government I have a spare bedroom because my son and daughter are allowed to share a bedroom until the eldest (my daughter) is 10. There is eighteen months between them. I have a car to get the children to school as a necessity and the car was given to me by family. I struggle to make ends meet. I have been to the food bank twice very recently and I am very grateful to the volunteers at the food bank who went out of their way to make me feel a little less humiliated. Infact, one lady was absolutely marvellous and gave me a little gift for the children to share at christmas. I have had to take out one of those high interest short term loans to pay my gas and electric bill., although I don't think a year is short. My credit rating is not good enough to enable me to take out a loan with a lower interest rate. I cannot afford clothes for myself and the childrens clothes come from charity shops, their uniforms come from their schools second hand clothes box. Some of the people that have to claim benefits are not scroungers and certainly do not live lavishly. I can only assume that maybe some people are able to afford luxuries because they have a fairly large number of children and therefore receive a considerable amount of both child tax credit and child benefit. I find that it becomes cheaper per person to feed when you have 2+ people to feed so therefore the more children you have, the cheaper it becomes per child to feed and possibly the money can be made to go further. This is just my assumption, it is not something I am stating as a fact. I am not asking for sympathy I am merely asking that people on benefits are not all tarred with the same brush. Also, before anybody says that I am stupid for taking out one of those ridiculous loans, I DO KNOW it was stupid but it was also my only option that I had left as the gas and electric had to be paid. It's not like I took the loan out to splurge on Christmas presents! Please can people stop whipping up a frenzy and realise that there are many genuine benefit claimants out there and we are feeling more and more worthless and ashamed by the sweeping comments that are being made by some. only me..
  • Score: -1

6:04pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

What a great shame that people do not read posts properly !!!
Onlyme & Geep I said that "some Lifestyle scroungers" I have not tarred everyone with the same brush but you jump to a conclusion that I have
get a grip grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
rrrrrrrrrr
What a great shame that people do not read posts properly !!! Onlyme & Geep I said that "some Lifestyle scroungers" I have not tarred everyone with the same brush but you jump to a conclusion that I have get a grip grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrr Geoffery1966
  • Score: 2

7:03pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Geep says...

Fairly sad? Get a grip? Get a life! And a keyboard that doesn't have problems...
Sorry if I have upset you, Geoffery1966. I'm quite happy with my life, & not as thin skinned as some. I would suggest you re-read your original comment, & realise why I, & others, found it a trifle offensive. And then work out who is sad...As Robert Zimmerman said 'It Aint Me, Babe'.
Fairly sad? Get a grip? Get a life! And a keyboard that doesn't have problems... Sorry if I have upset you, Geoffery1966. I'm quite happy with my life, & not as thin skinned as some. I would suggest you re-read your original comment, & realise why I, & others, found it a trifle offensive. And then work out who is sad...As Robert Zimmerman said 'It Aint Me, Babe'. Geep
  • Score: -2

10:57pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

No you have not upset me in the slightest...........
.....re read what I said originally and I stand by it, lifestyle scroungers are nothing but a drain on hard working tax payers.
If you found my comments offensive then you are thin skinned .
No you have not upset me in the slightest........... .....re read what I said originally and I stand by it, lifestyle scroungers are nothing but a drain on hard working tax payers. If you found my comments offensive then you are thin skinned . Geoffery1966
  • Score: 2

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