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Sunak told to publish government's impact analysis of the planned cuts to universal credit

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak was told today that his government must publish its impact analysis of the planned cut to universal credit (UC) over fears that it would lead to a catastrophe for households across Britain. 

A report in Thursday’s Financial Times (FT) revealed that ministers are aware of the impact that the cut to benefits would have but are continuing to plough ahead regardless, with a Whitehall source calling the move a “disaster.”

They told the FT: “The internal modelling of ending the UC uplift is catastrophic.

“Homelessness and poverty are likely to rise, and foodbank usage will soar. It could be the real disaster of the autumn.”

The newspaper also quotes a Tory minister, who said:  “There’s no doubt that this is going to have a serious impact on thousands of people and colleagues are really worried, I think it will definitely eclipse social care as a political problem. 

“It’s not just red wall MPs who are fearing a major backlash from the public.”

Opposition MPs have now backed widespread calls for the £20 per week cut to be reversed before it comes into effect. 

The SNP said that the Chancellor must U-turn on the yearly slashing of £1,040 for some of Britain’s most vulnerable people. 

SNP shadow work and pensions spokesman David Linden said that the government must publish its internal analysis immediately.

He said Tory cuts and regressive tax hikes are cutting the incomes of low- and middle-income workers to the bone and called for full powers to be handed to Scotland in order to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.

Mr Linden said: “It’s no surprise that the UK government’s own analysis shows Tory plans to slash the incomes of six million families by £1,040 a year will be devastating. There must be a U-turn.

“The Chancellor must immediately publish this analysis and abandon these damaging Tory cuts, which will push even more families into hardship, poverty and crisis.

“After a decade of Tory austerity cuts, the UK already has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north-west Europe, and in-work poverty is now at record levels this century.”

A Treasury spokesman said that uplift was always supposed to be temporary and that they were looking forward to getting back to normal post-pandemic, claiming that the government plan for jobs will support people back into work.

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