Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Government Has Forced Our Hand

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Government Has Forced Our Hand

Article excerpt

'Disabled tax' passed by Newcastle City Council, leaving city's most vulnerable out of pocket, I would like to point out a glaring inaccuracy.

Your correspondent reported that I said the changes to our council tax reduction scheme would save the council PS8.5m - that is not the case.

In fact PS8.5m is the amount of money the Government has cut from the council for the scheme since passing down responsibility for it to the council. For the record, our proposals are cost neutral.

In a time of burgeoning cuts from Government (we have saved PS191m over the last five years and have another PS100m to save over the next three years) we are using the money we have to help the maximum number of people who are struggling with cuts to welfare and public services - in reality this is 14,000 people. People in receipt of Severe Disabled Premium or Enhanced Disability Premium are entitled to additional financial assistance, unlike those on low incomes, which can sometimes be up to PS300 per week, and therefore we have brought their contribution into line with all other working-age people. …

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