Brent Council passes through controversial changes to Council Tax benefit payments

More than 24,000 residents will have to make a contribution to their bill

Brent Council rubber-stamped controversial benefit changes yesterday which could have a financial impact on more than 24,000 residents in the borough.

Under the new scheme people in receipt of benefits such as Income Support will no longer be entitled to 100 per cent Council Tax benefit payments.

All working age claimants will be required to pay at least a contribution even if they are claiming benefits in an effort to incentivise unemployed people to get back into work.

However disabled residents, carers and war veterans will be protected with most having to pay no more than �4.99 per week and pensioners will see no changes to their benefits and allowance.

The move comes after central government abolished the Council Tax Benefit scheme and replaced it by putting the control in the hands of local authorities.

However, with a cut of around �5million dealt to the council it meant Brent would be forced to ‘pick and choose’ between who is eligible and who is not.

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Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said passing through the changes was “the worst thing he has done in politics”.

He added: “Fairness is my number one priority in Brent, and we’ve worked very hard to make our scheme as fair as possible.

“We’ve protected the disabled, carers and veterans and we’ve incentivised work. But make no mistake, despite our hard work, this coalition cut will hit some of the poorest people in our community.

“People need to be prepared for the changes.”