5 fold increase in families
affected by Benefit Cap
ANALYSIS by Liverpool City Council
shows that an additional 710 families will be affected by the Government's
lowering of the Benefit Cap; and there are fears some could lose their homes as
A total of 130 families are already subject to the £26,000 limit, and they will
be joined by an additional 710 households starting from 7 November when the new
cap of £20,000 is introduced.
It means it will apply to a total of 840 households; including 2,800 children
who are already among the 1 in 3 youngsters in Liverpool living in poverty. New
claimants will also be subject to the cap after Christmas.
A study by welfare chiefs shows it amounts to a total weekly cut of £37,200 to
Housing Benefit payments in the City. It means an average reduction in rent
contributions of £44 per household per week, with 340 families losing more than
£50 a week.
There are concerns that some people won't be able to afford their rent, will end
up in arrears and be evicted. When this happens, the Council will have to re-house them in temporary accommodation at a cost of £400 per week.
The City Council is writing to those affected in the social and private housing
sectors to remind them of the forthcoming changes and advise them of the
assistance that may be available to help them.
The Council offers 2 assistance programmes for people affected by hardship
caused by welfare reform:-
► The Liverpool Citizen Support Scheme; which in 2015/16 made payments worth
£2.5 million to 12,000 people to help with the cost of food, fuel, clothing and
► Discretionary Housing Payments - to help with the cost of rent where there is
a shortfall in benefits, which in 2015/16 made payments worth £2 million to
8,700 people affected by welfare reform and hardship
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for fairness, social inclusion and
equalities, said:- "Thousands of our most vulnerable residents are already
facing a tsunami of cuts and regressive changes to the benefits system. We've
already seen the introduction of the bedroom Tax, the freezing of benefit rates
and cuts to equivalent working Tax credits for those on Universal Credit. Many
of these are hitting families where there is someone in work and it is dragging
more children into poverty. We're now really worried about the impact of the
lower benefit cap and we know it will tip some families over the edge. Aside
from the devastating social consequences and stress that this will cause, all it
is doing is shifting the cost from the Government over to the Council, housing
associations and other partners at the same time as we're facing cuts to our
budgets. The truth is that the money saved on the benefits bill must be set
against the cost to the public purse of paying Discretionary Housing Payments
and housing families in temporary accommodation if they are evicted. Put simply
it is a false economy. Together with our partners in the voluntary, faith and
community sectors, we're doing all we can to support as many people as possible.
As a local authority, we're continuing to shield people from the full impact of
cuts to Council Tax benefit using £3 million of our own money, topping up the
Discretionary Housing Payments by £600,000 and giving £3 million to help people
in crisis pay for food, fuel, clothing and essential white goods. But with
another £90 million of savings to find over the next three years it's going to
get much harder to respond and give the support needed."
Councillor Corbett added:- "Our message to people affected by the benefit
cap is not to suffer in silence. If you're struggling with your rent, get in
touch with your housing association or landlord and contact the Council to apply
for a Discretionary Housing Payment to the Council. If you need benefits and
debt advice, our Benefit Maximisation Team may be able to help, and for urgent
help with household expenses such as food and white goods, then our Citizen
Support Scheme could well help you out."
More information about the help and support available can be found
You can also call the freephone number:- 0151 233 3009 (Benefits Maximisation Service) or
call:- 0151 233 3053
(Citizens Support Scheme).
WELFARE IN LIVERPOOL - THE NUMBERS
► 30.5% of children living in low income families.
► 50% children in poverty in households where at least
1 adult is working.
► 840 households affected by the new benefit cap.
► 8,200 households affected by the Bedroom Tax.
► 66,860 residents fed by the Trussell Trust foodbanks from 2012
► 43,000 households affected by reductions in Council
► 48,500 households affected by the freezing of main benefit rates.
LOWER BENEFIT CAP - CASE STUDY 1
A family with four children living in a 3 bedroom privately rented property
paying a rent of £156 per week and receiving other benefits they are entitled to
will face a reduction of £155.50 per week in their Housing Benefit. The Council
could cover the cost of the rent shortfall for three months at a cost of £2,020
under a Discretionary Housing Payment, but when this expires the family could
quickly build up arrears and be made homeless. The Council may then need to
house them in temporary accommodation at a cost to the Council of £389.29 per
LOWER BENEFIT CAP - CASE STUDY 2
A family with three children living in a 3 bedroom housing association
property paying a rent of £100 per week and receiving other benefits they are
entitled to will face a reduction of £45.85 in their Housing Benefit. The
Council could cover the cost of the rent shortfall for 3 months at a cost of
£596 under a Discretionary Housing Payment, but when this expires the family
could quickly build up arrears and be made homeless. The Council would may then
need to house them in temporary accommodation, at a cost of £389.29 per week.
Heavy fine for West Kirby
ice cream sellers
THE owners of an ice cream concession
in West Kirby have been fined £10,000 by Wirral Magistrates Court after pleading
guilty to 10 breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations.
It was on 29 June 2015 when officers from Wirral Council's Environmental Health
team carried out a routine food hygiene inspection of Turners Ice Cream, Marine
Lake Building, South Parade, West Kirby.
During this visit, officers found dirty conditions, dog hairs throughout,
evidence of mouse activity, and other poor practices. The business closed
voluntarily due to the imminent risk of injury to health.
The premises opened 2 days later when the imminent risk of injury to health
had been removed and officers served the company, Reliance Marine (Wirral)
Limited, with several food hygiene Improvement Notices in order to secure
compliance with food safety legislation.
On 10 August 2016, the company pleaded guilty to 10 offences under the Food
Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 which included; failure to protect
food against contamination and failure to ensure that all equipment with which
food comes into contact was effectively cleaned.
The case was adjourned for sentencing until 28 September when the Company
received a fine of £10,000. It was also ordered to pay costs of £2,940.42 to the
Council and a victim surcharge of £120.
Cllr Bernie Mooney, Cabinet member for Environment, said:- "It was clear
to officers that the conditions and practices within this premises posed a risk
to the health of Wirral residents and also visitors to Wirral as the premises is
located in a very popular tourist location. Whilst Wirral Council supports local
businesses, the conditions and practices found at this premises were totally
unacceptable and posed a real risk to their customers. In order to protect
consumers, officers had no choice but to take formal action to deal with these
serious breaches of legislation. We have a responsibility to make our high
streets healthier, safer and fairer for consumers and businesses."
Southport poised to take
lead in national Tyre Safety Month campaign
OCTOBER is Tyre Safety Month and
motorists in Southport will be at the forefront of an ambitious campaign by a
local garage to take hundreds of dangerous and illegal tyres off the region's
Protyre Southport will support Tyre Safety Month, which is organised and
promoted by national tyre safety charity, TyreSafe, by aiming to perform free
checks on around 2,500 tyres, which could result in the removal of over 600
dangerous and illegal tyres
The key message to motorists in Southport this Tyre Safety Month is 'Don't
chance it, check it!', which is particularly important as data by TyreSafe,
indicates that approximately 1 in 4 cars are likely to have at least 1 tyre at
or below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm.
As well as compromising a vehicle's ability to accelerate, corner and brake,
motorists could face a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per illegal
Paul Hutchinson, manager of Protyre Southport, located at Scarisbrick New Road,
said:- "As an established and trusted local business we feel it's really
important to fully support Tyre Safety Month and take the lead in promoting the
importance of tyres and tyre safety to our community. People often check things
like their oil or windscreen washer levels, but we want to help educate people
about also regularly checking their tyre tread depths and pressure. Tyres are
the only part of a car in contact with the road's surface, so they are the main
factor that is the difference between stopping in an emergency or having an
accident. As we approach winter and the roads become cold and damp, tyres will
play an increasingly important role in keeping us safe. Quite simply, a worn
tyre has very little grip and is an accident waiting to happen."
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, comments:- "TyreSafe is grateful to Protyre
Southport for supporting Tyre Safety Month so enthusiastically. When it comes to
tyres, our message to motorists in Southport is clear, don't chance it, check
it, and ensure tyres are safe, legal and winter ready."
Motorists wishing to take advantage of the free safety check are welcome to call
into Protyre Southport at their convenience.
For more information on Tyre Safety Month, visit:-
Arrests over suspected £15m
6 people have been arrested in
connection with a suspected £15 million Tax fraud involving restaurants and
wholesalers believed to be laundering money using offshore accounts and
More than 80 officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) searched three
residential and 5 business addresses in Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside and
London. Cash, computers, business and personal records were seized during the
The arrests were made as a result of an investigation into the Tax arrangements
of various businesses, suspected Tax fraud and associated money laundering.
Andrew Sackey, Deputy Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:-
"The vast majority pay the Tax they owe. But no 1 is beyond our reach and we
will act against those suspected of hiding money offshore.
Businesses committing Tax Fraud steal from the public purse and have an unfair
advantage over honest competitors. If anyone has information about suspected Tax
fraud, please contact the HMRC 24 hour hotline on:- 0800 59 5000."
The operation was supported by a cash detection dog team. The people arrested
have been interviewed and released on bail pending further enquiries.