Shrewsbury Town Council has objected to moves from Shropshire Council to reduce the amount of Council Tax benefit available those on the lowest levels of income and most in need of support.
The Council was responding to a consultation paper from Shropshire Council aimed at changes which would cut £1.1m for many vulnerable people who have already been disadvantaged by other previous benefit cuts and who face the forthcoming, so-called Universal Credit roll-out; whether they are in work or not.
Leader of the Council, Labour’s Councillor Alan Mosley proposed a motion which was largely carried:
“Shrewsbury Town Council greatly regrets that the proposals will lead to significant additional hardship for many of our most vulnerable residents. We wish to register our strong objections to the political and economic policies on which the change of policy is based”.
Alan Mosley said: “It is obvious that this move will throw more families into debt and add to the struggles faced by many adults and children. As a local council we have an obligation to stand up for our residents, particularly those most in need. This is what we are doing here in objecting both to the Government in Westminster and to their colleagues in the Administration at the Shirehall.
These cuts are inequitable in their impact, they carry a large and expensive administrative burden and will damage families and communities.”
In supporting the motion, Cllr Harry Taylor said:
“This is further evidence that the uncaring policies of the Government are having serious implications for the people of Shrewsbury. There is a massive black hole in Shropshire Council’s finances and we must make everyone aware of the dire consequences.
More and more are struggling to make ends meet, including many at work, and imposing these benefit cuts will push them further into hardship at a time when the rich are getting richer.”