Senior Tories say benefits cap must end
Several senior Conservative MPs have today told Theresa May that she must put an end to the benefits cap. The group of MPs told The Times that the cap, which was brought in by the former Chancellor George Osbourne, was "immoral" when the rise in cost of living is taken into account.
MPs including the former Brexit Secretary David Davis and Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan called the continuation of the policy into question and even suggested that such a stance could lead to the party losing support at the next election. Davis said that the party had always been advocates of a "robust safety net", while Morgan said she hoped they would not be seen as the party who "know the cost of everything and the value of nothing".
- Senior Tories question the continued benefits cap
- Davis, Greening and Morgan said to Times that the continuation of the policy could damage the party's image
The comments come just days after Esther McVey announced a "substantial package" that would be used to help the roll out of the new Universal Credit system that has received widespread criticism. McVey announced that "The work allowance increase is unequivocally good news for families receiving Universal Credit." The package, she explained, included a £1.7 billion injection into working allowances, which will allegedly support 2.4 million working families.
Davis said that the party had always been advocates of a "robust safety net", while Morgan said she hoped they would not be seen as the party who "know the cost of everything and the value of nothing"
The additional funds were welcomed by the former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who had taken an active role in developing the new Universal Credit system. Duncan Smith said "It was a step in the right direction but there will need to be more."
The former Education Secretary Justine Greening was another MP to speak out against the policy. Greening argued that the continuation of the freeze "does not sit alongside recognition by ministers on public sector pay caps being lifted because of the need to keep pace with inflation."
After The Times published the article a government spokesperson responded to say "We know the best route out of poverty is through work, and universal credit is supporting people into work faster and helping them stay in work longer. Last week we announced that 2.4 million households would be £630 better off a year as a result of raising the work allowance."
The main criticism of Universal Credit focuses on the delay claimants must endure before receiving their monthly instalment, a timetable that was designed to make the benefits system more akin to a monthly salary.