MILLIONS of Universal Credit recipients face being up to £1,000 worse off as Liz Truss tonight refused to confirm a benefits hike.
The PM is considering raising payments in line with earnings instead of the higher rate of inflation to save £5billion.
Tory MPs are plotting to rebel if she squeezes benefits while slashing taxes for the richest.
Pensioners are safe from her cost-cutting drive after Kwasi Kwarteng said the government is “absolutely committed” to the triple lock.
It means retirees will see their funds rise by around 10 per cent as pensions are pegged to soaring prices.
But millions of Universal Credit recipients face real-terms cuts as much as £1,000 as part of Ms Truss’ plan to rein in spending.
Meanwhile the highest earners will enjoy a payday thanks to the 45p top rate of income tax being scrapped.
Conservative MP Robert Largan yesterday slammed the plans: “This is untenable. You cannot freeze benefits and pensions while cutting taxes for millionaires.
“A debt reduction plan needs to be both economically and politically sustainable to be credible.”
Many more backbenchers were privately furious and were last night scheming to force a U-turn.
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One Tory MP told The Sun there were “definitely enough” colleagues ready to block Ms Truss’ plans.
They added: “The fairly overwhelming view is that we cannot reduce taxes for the top and cut benefits.”
Ms Truss did not deny she planned to curb benefits during a grilling last night, saying an announcement would be made in “due course”.
She told broadcasters: “The biggest part of the package that we announced was the support for families on energy as well as making sure that we reversed the national insurance rise.
“In terms of benefits uprating, that is something the Work and Pensions Secretary is looking at and she will make an announcement in due course as is the normal practice, for the autumn.”
Government sources last night insisted no final decision had been made as they needed to wait for September’s inflation figures. They said an announcement would likely come in November.
Charities last night urged the PM to rethink. Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children, said: “To deny the poorest families money they have been promised in a bid to stop market chaos is deeply cruel.
“The last Chancellor made a commitment to raise benefits in line with inflation, so this now feels like an active decision by the UK government to penalise those with the most to lose.”