Debt problems have been blamed for a rise in domestic and financial abuse.

The claim was made in a report on how the controversial council tax support scheme has worked in Braintree district.

New rules on who is eligible for help with council tax payments were brought in by the Government in April last year.

Braintree Council tasked a group of councillors to review the first six months of the scheme, which saw more people having to contribute towards their bill.

The report, produced this summer, also involved the Citizens Advice Bureau and Greenfields Community Housing, for whom the changes have affected about a third of tenants.

It concluded the scheme was working well, but raised concerns that financial abuse and domestic violence cases had risen due to debt problems and some people had taken out payday loans to resolve their moneyissues.

* Full story in this week's edition.