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Fri, 10 July 2020

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Philip Hammond faces mounting Tory pressure to change course over Universal Credit

Philip Hammond faces mounting Tory pressure to change course over Universal Credit

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

More than a dozen ministers and some 40 Tory backbenchers have urged the Government to pump more cash into the under-fire Universal Credit system, it has been reported.

Top Government figures have privately told whips that Chancellor Philip Hammond must come forward with new cash in his Budget next week, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

It comes as 40 Conservative MPs said putting an extra £2bn a year into the new benefits regime would prove Theresa May was “committed to social justice”.

A fresh row over Universal Credit has exploded over fears its nationwide rollout next year could lose millions of families up to £200 a month.

Campaigners want billions of pounds in work allowances that were cut by former Chancellor George Osborne to be put back into the system.

The letter, spearheaded by former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, and supported by a pro-social justice group of MPs led by ex-minister Andrew Selous, backs the scheme in principle.

But it adds: “If this is to be a Government that is committed to social justice, to making work pay, to physical and mental health, and to seeing every citizen flourish, this is the best investment to reflect those aims, at no cost, and indeed with potential savings, to the country.”

The letter to the Chancellor suggests the extra funding should be paid for my delaying plans to rise the income tax threshold to £12,500.

Meanwhile, Tory peer and major party donor Lord Farmer told the Sunday Telegraph the Government could “fail millions of people” if concerns about Universal Credit are not addressed.

Elsewhere, the Sunday Times reports that Mr Hammond has already resisted calls from Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to boost cash for the police and armed forces respectively in his upcoming Budget.


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