Welfare reforms could be a ticking ‘timebomb’

Citizens Advice Bureau manager Martin Lord, giving debt advice.'NEWS, ANNA.'060921SL10
Citizens Advice Bureau manager Martin Lord, giving debt advice.'NEWS, ANNA.'060921SL10
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After more than 160 people contacted Towcester Citizens Advice Bureau over changes to sick benefits its chief executive fears a welfare timebomb is ticking.

Despite the Chancellor holding back from a freeze in welfare funding, Martin Lord believes protecting universal payments to pensioners could unfairly affect the most vulnerable and working families on tight incomes.

The Advertiser investigated the story after a reader who is having their disability living allowance reassessed decided to not publicise their case because of the stress and worry it might add to their ongoing appeal.

Mr Lord said next April’s reforms will wipe £18bn from the welfare budget and added: “That’s almost entirely from the part of budget which affects people under 65. That’s quite a significant percentage of the budget. Therefore a lot of people are going to lose money, people who are already financially struggling. And I don’t think people have fully woken up to that yet. You could call it a timebomb. But it’s not going to go off in one go, these reforms will impact poeple over the next few years.”