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 told the overview and scrutiny committee meeting that the plans will 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.