Some of Keighley’s most vulnerable people could lose support due to an unexpected £2 million-plus cut in government funding, it is claimed.

Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, said a decision to axe backing for local welfare provision – which helps people in urgent financial crisis or who need goods and furniture to stay in their own homes – was “buried in the small print” of the Chancellor’s autumn statement.

He said the funding, which used to be provided directly by the government but last year was transferred to local authorities, is to be scrapped altogether from 2015-16.

“This is another pernicious and vindictive government attack on people when they are at their most vulnerable and need a lifeline to keep their homes and families together,” said Coun Green.

“In purely financial terms, it is a false economy because it will tip people into chaos and crisis, leading to far higher costs being incurred as public services are forced to make interventions.

“There will also be big social and emotional costs, with the potential for children to have to be separated from their parents, for physical and mental health to suffer and homelessness to increase.

“There was no warning this was coming. The council has already suffered more than £100 million in government cuts, it faces a further £115 million in the next three years and now we find we will have to either make even more cuts to services or cut help to people in hardship.”

He added: “It is sickening that at the same time as this help to vulnerable people in Bradford and Keighley is axed in 2015-16 and the council grapples with enormous cuts, seven of the ten richest authorities – all Tory or Lib Dem and all in the south – will see an increase in their overall financial resources."