A Tory peer plans to stage a vote on Boris Johnson’s £20-a-week Universal Credit grab from the poorest families.
As the Conservatives began to claw back the £1,040-a-year temporary benefit hike, Baroness Philippa Stroud vowed to force a vote in the Lords to get politicians to rethink the cruel cut.
Millions of people will be affected by the change, which begins to come into force from today as Boris Johnson was set to make his big Tory conference address.
The PM has resisted widespread calls to scrap the cut, which comes as Brits face a cost of living crisis compounded by rising energy bills and supply shortages.
Baroness Stroud, chief executive officer of the Legatum Institute think tank, was an adviser to US architect Iain Duncan Smith.
She said: “At this moment in time, MPs have not voted on this at all, it’s been a decision taken by the Executive, so my intention is to bring a vote in the Lords, cross-party vote that would say to the House of Commons, ‘Think again on this issue.
“Is this something we really want to do as a civilised nation, putting our poorest people into poverty is surely not the way forward as we come out of the pandemic?’”
She told the BBC that Legatum had carried out a study into the potential impact of the welfare raid.
“We’ve been doing some research on Universal Credit and by our calculations the decision today to remove this uplift will push 840,000 people into poverty, 290,000 of those are children and so this is … a really bleak day for many, many families up and down the country,” she said.
“There are people who are out of work who will move back into work, but there are also 450,000 who will move into poverty today as a result of this who have disabilities or who have children who are disabled.
“It is not just people who are in employment or should be moving into employment who claim Universal Credit and I think we have to be really honest about who is claiming UC and why they’re there.
“Our safety net is supposed to protect vulnerable people and that includes people who are sick, disabled and who have disabled children at this time.”