Government cuts could leave Broadland’s unemployed and low-earners losing 25pc of their council tax benefit

Unemployed and low-earners aged between 18 and 65 could lose almost 25pc of their council tax benefit within months.

And Broadland District Council has today warned single parents, war veterans and disabled people might also endure cuts in their council tax support under government proposals.

Ministers want to reduce the annual �4.2bn council tax benefit bill by 10pc from April 2013.

To achieve this, the government is planning to give district councils less money to pay people.

Broadland believes its district could lose �650,000, meaning it has to either find a way of making up the shortfall or work out who suffers as a result of the changes.

Elderly people have to be protected under the project, which means around 4,300 - almost 60pc - of people who claim benefit in Broadland will see no decrease in their payments.

But this means working age people will bear the brunt of the changes, with Broadland's initial estimates suggesting they could lose 24.9pc of their benefit.

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Councillors were today shown slides detailing how different groups of people would be affected by various cuts.

The results, which are not final, indicated all claimants could lose out to protect the elderly.

Paul Carrick, finance portfolio holder, told the overview and scrutiny committee: 'The treasury has made the cut and left the councils to make incredibly tough decisions and face the inevitable fall out.'

Ideas were suggested by councillors to help find ways to raise money.

John Bracey, Sprowston East councillor, suggested ending council tax discounts to people with empty houses or multiple properties.

Ben McGilvray, Wroxham councillor, said: 'It's a tax increase on the poorest people and it's not our decision.'