DISABLED people could lose around £1,200 a year if the Tories cling to their plans to lop billions off the welfare budget after their tax credits defeat, the IPPR think tank warned yesterday.
With Chancellor George Osborne desperately looking for a target for spending cuts after the Lords held up his plans to take cash from the working poor, the Institute for Public Policy Research said the disabled and renters would likely be next to feel his axe.
If the government shunted all disabled people on employment and support allowance onto the jobseeker’s allowance rate — as will happen to all new claimants from 2017 — it could “save” the taxpayer around £1.4 billion of the £4.4bn target — but cost seriously disabled people around £1,200 a year.
A suggestion to force all housing benefit claimants to pay 10 per cent of their rents would save £2.4bn a year, affecting 4.8 million households.
Private-renting households would lose around £570 a year while social housing tenants would lose an average £460, the IPPR said, adding that high-cost housing areas in south-east England would be particularly badly hit.
Labour and even some Tory MPs have warned Mr Osborne to back down over his plans to make around three million families worse off by an average £1,300 through cuts to tax credits.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell asked ministers for assurances yesterday that a tax credit U-turn wouldn’t simply see other parts of the welfare state slashed.
“Unfortunately the Chancellor does have a bit of reputation of giving with one hand and taking with another.”
Mr Osborne has said he will bring forward revised proposals when he delivers his spending review during the autumn statement on November 25.