IN A bid to bring in more cash, Bexley Council has begun checking whether people claiming council benefits are still entitled to them.

It has already boosted its income by nearly £500,000 by checking on people claiming the single person discount on its council tax.

People aged over 18 who live alone can get their council tax reduced by a quarter through the discount, and one in three Bexley households were claiming it.

The 21,000 records checked so far revealed 1,199 households who no longer qualified for the discount and will now have to pay the full amount.

It is estimated there could be another 1,200 households who will also have the discount withdrawn.

Cabinet member for finance and corporate services, Councillor Colin Campbell said: “We are determined to ensure proper use is made of public money.”

Anyone with queries about council tax and housing benefit should call 0345 302 2317.