HARD-pressed families could get a £130 boost if Philip Hammond scraps the benefit freeze in two weeks.
Campaigning MP Frank Field demanded the Chancellor use his spring statement to ditch the final year of the benefits freeze, a move which would help millions of families who are being forced to food banks.
Getty – Contributor Struggling Brits who are facing another year of the benefits freeze are being driven to food banks
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) boss Amber Rudd has said she will fight to end the freeze if she can.
New research from the House of Commons showed that a lone parent in work could be £132 better off per year if the freeze was ditched for 2019/20, while those who are out of work could be £723 better off.
In a letter to the Chancellor Mr Field said the effective cuts to benefits had had a “devastating” impact on poor households – and single parents are £1,400 worse off over the last four years.
And that the freeze had totally wiped out any benefits the boost to the minimum wage or increases in the personal allowance had brought.
Mr Field, who quit the Labour Party last year, said: “In the light of these trends, it is not difficult to see why so many families, reliant on low-waged jobs, now seek help from their local food bank.
“There is an overwhelming precariousness that has engulfed families in low-waged work, all too many of whom are vulnerable to hunger because their incomes will not stretch to the end of the month.
“I very much hope that, having considered these new data, the Chancellor will begin setting out, in the Spring Statement, a rescue package for the living standards of families with children whose incomes have been wrecked by successive waves of caps and freezes.”
Last month the DWP Secretary Ms Rudd admitted that the five-week wait for Universal Credit could have driven people to food banks.
She said there were problems with people not being able to access cash quickly enough and having to seek help for food.
A Government spokesman said: “Our priority is to support people to improve their lives. Last week’s figures show the unemployment rate is the joint lowest since 1975 and wages are growing at the fastest rate in over a decade, outpacing inflation for nearly a year.
“We know that some people need more support. That’s why we’re spending £90 billion to support families who need it, and by 2022 we will be spending £28 billion more on welfare than we do now.”
Reuters Campaigning MP Frank Field blasted officials and demanded the freeze be ended early
MAY PLEAS TO STAY PM asks Tories to let her stay on to help the country after Brexit JEZ DOESN’T CARE Jeremy Corbyn is RADICALISING young people, Maureen Lipman blasts ExclusiveWHERE CREDIT’S DUE 4m set for £3k Universal Credit boost – but others plunged into poverty ‘WE’RE IN CRISIS’ Corbyn’s own deputy Tom Watson launches scathing attack on leftie leader ‘BANKRUPT’ BRITAIN Public spending needs urgent curbing as freebies leave UK owing £6,600bn CRIMS LET OFF Thousands of criminals will dodge jail under plan to scrap shorter sentences ExclusiveJEZZA’S LAWYER SHAKE Jeremy Corbyn is pictured shaking hands with Shamima Begum’s lawyer WE’LL HELP YE Theresa May to send another £200m in aid to help humanitarian crisis in Yemen RUDDY OUTRAGEOUS Sack Rudd over Brexit delay threat, furious Cabinet colleagues demand
Mr Hammond will deliver his spring statement on March 13.
It’s set to be a minor speech as the Budget in the Autumn is where all the major tax and spend decisions are given.
But with Brexit just weeks away the Chancellor could use the speech to pump out emergency funding.
Amber Rudd admits 5-week crippling wait for benefits HAS pushed people to food banks
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online politics team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours