Universal Credit raid plotted by Tories would hit tens of millions – test your space

Tory ministers will snatch tens of millions of kilos from their very own constituents if Jeremy Hunt goes forward with a threatened raid on Universal Credit.

The Chancellor needs to slash the quantities given to strange households to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.

According to official knowledge, Cabinet ministers have greater than 125,000 Universal Credit claimants of their constituencies. An evaluation by The Mirror exhibits collectively they stand to overlook out on a whopping £23.7million if Mr Hunt decides to fiddle the figures to get monetary savings within the Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

Universal Credit funds are attributable to enhance subsequent April by 6.7%, the inflation determine from this September. But to unlock money to pay for bungs for the wealthy, the Chancellor is considering utilizing the decrease inflation determine from October, which was 4.6%. This would imply that low earnings households would lose tons of of kilos every.

Labour’s Rachel Reeves has referred to as on Mr Hunt to not decrease the deliberate rise.

Most current knowledge from May exhibits there have been 3,800 Universal Credit claimants within the Chancellor’s South West Surrey constituency, receiving an estimated £37.8million yearly. They would stand to overlook out on £756,000 subsequent 12 months if he makes use of the decrease inflation determine, which works out at a median of £199 every.

However, he can be the least affected Cabinet minister along with his colleagues seeing a a lot larger affect of their constituencies. Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has 9,100 claimants in his North East Cambridgeshire seat who collectively would lose £1.6million.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt has 7,800 claimants in Portsmouth North who can be £1.5million worse off, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has 7,600 claimants in Welwyn Hatfield who face a £1.5million hit, and Deputy PM Oliver Dowden has 6,800 claimants in Hertsmere who additionally stand to lose £1.5million.

Targeting households on Universal Credit will doubtless make it much more troublesome for Tory ministers to cling on to their seats. Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has a majority of simply 981 in Cheltenham, in comparison with 6,300 UC claimants in his space.

Mr Hunt needs to cut back spending on advantages in order that he can lower taxes. One of the concepts into account is a discount in both earnings tax or nationwide insurance coverage. Other recommendations embrace slashing inheritance tax, despite the fact that the levy is barely paid by the richest 4%. Couples are in a position to hand as much as £1million to their kids with out paying the responsibility.

As he appeared on the Sunday morning political programmes, the Chancellor mentioned he wished to convey down the tax burden, which has risen to a 70 12 months excessive below this Conservative Government. But he declined to say which taxes might be diminished, insisting: “Everything is on the table.” Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Hunt said: “I need to present individuals there is a path to decrease taxes. But we additionally need to be trustworthy with individuals. This shouldn’t be going to occur in a single day.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney mentioned: “This out-of-touch Government has proven time and again that it doesn’t care about those struggling the most with the cost-of-living crisis. If ministers have any decency, they’ll keep their promise to their constituents and steer clear of a cruel cut to support for hard-pressed families.”

Chris Stephens, the SNP MP for Glasgow South, mentioned: “We already have the meanest social security system in Europe and this manoeuvre will plunge the least well off into even worse poverty. It’s a move that would make the Chancellor a modern day Sheriff of Nottingham robbing the poor to give to the rich.”

Ms Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, instructed the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “If you pick and choose from year to year which inflation number is the cheapest thing to do, then what you see is the gradual erosion of people’s incomes.”

How a lot cash might Universal Credit claimants miss out on?

Cabinet ministers

Rishi Sunak (PM), Richmond (Yorks): 5,000 UC claims, £868,800 worse off (Average loss: £174)

Oliver Dowden (Deputy PM), Hertsmere: 6,800 UC claims, £1,507,200 worse off (Average loss: £222)

Jeremy Hunt (Chancellor), South West Surrey: 3,800 UC claims, £756,000 worse off (Average loss: £199)

James Cleverly (Home Secretary), Braintree: 6,200 UC claims, £1,192,800 worse off (Average loss: £192)

Grant Shapps (Defence Secretary), Welwyn Hatfield: 7,600 UC claims, £1,538,400 worse off (Average loss: £202)

Alex Chalk (Justice Secretary), Cheltenham: 6,300 UC claims, £1,128,000 worse off (Average loss: £179)

Michelle Donelan (Science Secretary), Chippenham: 5,700 UC claims, £1,072,800 worse off (Average loss: £188)

Michael Gove (Levelling Up Secretary), Surrey Heath: 4,500 UC claims, £895,200 worse off (Average loss: £199)

Victoria Atkins (Health Secretary), Louth and Horncastle: 6,700 UC claims, £1,190,400 worse off (Average loss: £178)

Penny Mordaunt (Commons Leader), Portsmouth North: 7,800 UC claims, £1,461,600 worse off (Average loss: £187)

Kemi Badenoch (Business Secretary), Saffron Walden: 4,800 UC claims, £1,008,000 worse off (Average loss: £210)

Claire Coutinho (Energy Secretary), East Surrey: 5,500 UC claims, £1,176,000 worse off (Average loss: £214)

Steve Barclay (Environment Secretary), North East Cambridgeshire: 9,100 UC claims, £1,596,000 worse off (Average loss: £175)

Mel Stride (Work and Pensions Secretary), Central Devon: 4,600 UC claims, £861,600 worse off (Average loss: £187)

Gillian Keegan (Education Secretary), Chichester: 6,200 UC claims, £1,238,400 worse off (Average loss: £200)

Mark Harper (Transport Secretary), Forest of Dean: 5,200 UC claims, £972,000 worse off (Average loss: £187)

Lucy Frazer (Culture Secretary), South East Cambridgeshire: 5,200 UC claims, £1,003,200 worse off (Average loss: £193)

Richard Holden (Tory Chairman), North West Durham: 7,500 UC claims, £1,257,600 worse off (Average loss: £168)

Chris Heaton-Harris (Northern Ireland Secretary), Daventry: 5,500 UC claims, £1,010,400 worse off (Average loss: £184)

Alister Jack (Scottish Secretary), Dumfries and Galloway: 7,100 UC claims, £1,233,600 worse off (Average loss: £174)

David TC Davies (Welsh Secretary), Monmouth: 4,300 UC claims, £746,400 worse off (Average loss: £174)

Total: 125,400 UC claims, £23,714,400 worse off

Attends Cabinet

Simon Hart (Chief Whip), Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire: 5,100 UC claims, £880,800 worse off (Average loss: £173)

Laura Trott (Chief Secretary to the Treasury), Sevenoaks: 4,200 UC claims, £880,800 worse off (Average loss: £210)

Victoria Prentis (Attorney General), Banbury: 7,700 UC claims, £1,512,000 worse off (Average loss: £196)

John Glen (Paymaster General), Salisbury: 5,800 UC claims, £1,099,200 worse off (Average loss: £190)

Esther McVey (Minister with out Portfolio), Tatton: 3,600 UC claims, £672,000 worse off (Average loss: £187)

Robert Jenrick (Immigration Minister), Newark: 6,100 UC claims, £1,036,800 worse off (Average loss: £170)

Tom Tugendhat (Security Minister), Tonbridge and Malling: 4,900 UC claims, £1,017,600 worse off (Average loss: £208)

Andrew Mitchell (Development Minister), Sutton Coldfield: 4,100 UC claims, £698,400 worse off (Average loss: £170)

Johnny Mercer (Veterans Minister), Plymouth, Moor View: 8,500 UC claims, £1,617,600 worse off (Average loss: £190)

*Estimates based mostly on newest knowledge from May 2023.