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Changes to benefits

by
26 April 2013

iStock

From Mr Stephen Davies

Sir, - I was interested in your article by Jonathan Bartley (Comment, 5 April). With regard to the so-called "bedroom tax", claimants can apply for a discretional housing payment to help alleviate the loss of benefit so long as they are prepared to go on the housing register for a smaller property. Also, this measure is only for claimants of working age. Claimants are encouraged to take lodgers, with the first £20 of rental income being disregarded with regard to their benefits.

The main bone of contention which we are noticing in our benefits section is the change from council-tax benefit to council-tax support. In our borough, all working-age claimants are having to pay 20 per cent towards their council tax, unless they qualify for the severe disability premium or enhanced disability premium.

It is a significant burden for those on benefits, and when claimants are getting only £71.70 per week, to find £5 per week for the council. Not surprisingly, some refuse to pay.

Now the Government is planning to change disability living allowance (DLA) to personal independence payment (PIP), which will cause more anxiety and work. I wish that they would just do one change per year; so that the changes are introduced compassionately and with thought for all concerned.

STEPHEN DAVIES
22 Hamble Walk, Woking
Surrey GU21 3PR

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