“As inflation hits a five year high, families affected by the freeze to working-age benefits are under unprecedented pressure. Annual price growth now stands at 3%, compared to 0.3% when the freeze was brought in in April 2016. Since then typical household goods have increased by 3.9% – and the cost of essentials like heating the home have risen even faster.
“The benefit freeze is a policy from a different economic environment. JRF analysis estimates the four-year benefit freeze will lead to an extra half a million people living in poverty in 2020/21. This will impact families in and out of work: a low-income family of four on Universal Credit will be £800 a year worse off in 2020 compared to 2010 because benefits have not kept up with prices. The Government should help people on low incomes by ending the freeze in the autumn Budget.”