Benefit change concern raised

SHEFFIELD Council is writing to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles opposing cuts to housing benefits.

The Labour-run authority believes the Government is wrong to cut funding for the allowance by 10 per cent.

The council is having to reduce housing benefits for claimants below pension age, as elderly people’s current payments are protected.

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for housing, said he had been asked to write on behalf of the Citywide Tenants’ Forum.

He said: “The proposed cuts and changes to housing benefit will seriously affect thousands of Sheffield residents. Along with the cuts to council tax benefit, many of the city’s poorest are going to struggle to make ends meet. I hope the Government will reconsider the changes.”