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One third of Torbay households claiming housing benefits

By Herald Express  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

By TINA CROWSON

Comments (3)

ONE third of households in Torbay are claiming housing benefit and council tax support, new figures have confirmed.

Just over half of those claiming are of working age, councillors will be told. The number of claimants is the second largest in Devon outside Exeter.

Last year, there were around 170 new housing benefit and/or council tax support claims processed each week, according to a report to members of the Torbay Council's overview and scrutiny committee.

Demand for housing and council tax benefit/support has increased from 52,600 claims and notifications of change of circumstances in 2009/10 to 62,900 last year.

Staffing has decreased over that period from 38 to 25 in the revenue and benefits service.

Last year, the service was responsible for the collection and payment of around £77.6million in council tax, £36.98million in business rates, £67.3million in housing benefit payments and £12.9million in council tax support.

It also awarded just over £250,000 in crisis support payments.

Since April, the service has on average processed 150 new claims and 980 change of circumstances notifications each week.

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3 comments

  • Timberman  |  May 29 2014, 11:09AM

    So low wages or zero hours contracts +benefits = public subsidy of private businesses. So that's all right then or is it?

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  • Cruey  |  May 22 2014, 4:02PM

    Well said cornwall999.............

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  • cornwall999  |  May 22 2014, 12:45PM

    No wonder one 3rd of householders are claiming housing benefit and council support . Perhaps the Mayor and all is colleagues could try living on the minimum wage of £6 31 per hour with a mortgage council tax water rates electricity food etc etc to pay for , oh plus clothing the children . I help in a food bank weekly and witness the hard ships people are facing daily . May I suggest Mr Oliver that you and the Chief Executive who is only employed 4 days per week and all your officers take a pay cut as your extortionate salaries can never be justified and are absolutely obscene especially in a time of so called austerity which you seem to promote and massive public expenditure cuts . We need people who are dynamic highly educated motivated to run Torbay Council who can bring forward some positive input to run a more efficient service which the residents of Torbay deserve. Shirley Sweeney . (Type in Ad blocks to stop ads appearing0

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