RESIDENTS living in Torbay have been harder hit by benefit reforms than almost anywhere else in the country, councillors have been told.
Claimants have had payments totalling around £2.2million stopped this year under government reforms and councillors were told this was also a loss to the local economy.
The government changes to payments like housing and child benefit rates, job seekers' allowances, childcare costs, tax credits and more proposed changes such as the introduction of employment and support allowance for the sick or disabled will also take their toll, officers have warned.
Members asked for a review of the impact of welfare reforms which was considered at an overview and scrutiny committee.
Torbay Citizens Advice Bureau said its workload had escalated, but it had been able to reclaim some money for residents.
The Local Government Association estimated Torbay was among the worst affected areas.
Lib Dem leader Steve Darling said: "The council must redouble its efforts in promoting Plough and Share Credit Union in Torbay.
"This credit union has saved thousands of pounds for many families in Torbay.
"Sadly the council's commitment to date has been somewhat cosmetic."