LOOMING changes to the welfare and benefits system could cause chaos for local people who don't understand what the changes mean to them, a councillor has warned.

Coun Karen Dyson told Barnsley Council's community well-being scrutiny commission that more people need to be made aware about what the reforms mean to them - in particular the Universal Credit which will replace all means-tested benefits.

She said: "Universal Credit will affect both those in work and out of work and could take £33m out of the pockets of Barnsley residents, and the town's economy.

"People who are working and get the tax credits will be effected. It will be hard ship for the families - this is going to effect a lot of people.

"People who are on employment support will be reassessed, there's going to be a 20 per cent reduction in disability living allowance - people are not aware of the changes."

Universal Credit will replace income-based jobseekers' allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credits, working tax credits and housing benefit.