Disabled people could be pushed into debt because of a council's money-saving move to make them pay more for their care, campaigners warned.

Norfolk County Council has been criticised over proposals to save £1.2m a year by changing a policy around care costs for disabled people.

The proposals, to reduce the minimum income guarantee (MIG) are part of the Conservative-controlled council's bid to save £52.2m.

The MIG is an amount of their income disabled people can keep for everyday expenses after the cost of council-arranged home care is taken into account.

The county council wants to lower it from £187 a week to £171.25 a week, in line with neighbouring counties, which would mean disabled people aged 18 to 64 would pay more for their care.

Eastern Daily Press: Disabled people protested at County Hall when the proposal was previously tabledDisabled people protested at County Hall when the proposal was previously tabled (Image: Philip Williams)

When the council proposed a similar reduction in 2019 it triggered a High Court challenge. The council lost, with a judge saying the authority's actions were discriminatory.

Judith and Nick Taylor, whose son has Down's syndrome, run the Disability Network Norfolk Group and are appalled the council has revived the proposal.

Mrs Taylor, from Buxton, near Aylsham, said: "Why do the most vulnerable have to suffer just so the county council can make some savings?

"Our members are so worried. I had a woman, who has two children with disabilities, who rang me at 12.30am the other night, saying how concerned she is."

Mr Taylor said: "There must be people who are already in debt to the council for their care costs. This will make their situation worse and if other people's charges go up, I am worried that will push them into debt."

Eastern Daily Press: Andrew Jamieson, deputy leader of Norfolk County CouncilAndrew Jamieson, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Andrew Jamieson, county council deputy leader, said rising costs in adult social care had to be managed.

He said: "If we have to clip things that are painful, but not fatal, then I think the minimum income guarantee fits into that category. I wish it was not so, but that's the sort of decision we are having to make."

Eastern Daily Press: Green county councillor Paul NealeGreen county councillor Paul Neale (Image: Norwich City Council)

But Green county councillor Paul Neale said: "Councillor Jamieson's comments just show how out of touch his party is with the reality of real lives.

"If he thinks his proposed cuts of MIG payments is just a 'clipping', I’m glad he is not my barber, as it's more of a scalping."

Brian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group, said he was "very uneasy".

Eastern Daily Press: Labour county councillor Brenda JonesLabour county councillor Brenda Jones (Image: Labour Party)

And Labour county councillor Brenda Jones said: "The furore last time they tried to take money from people with learning disabilities showed the Tories how cruel and damaging the consequences will be. It seems they haven't learned, nor do they care."