Those on disability benefits and low incomes will be among worst affected, IFS concludes
'Almost 2 million people will lose more than £1,000 a year following the switch to universal credit, with those claiming disability benefits the worst affected, according to research by a leading thinktank.
Self-employed workers on below average incomes and low-income families with little savings will also be among the biggest losers, the Institute for Fiscal Studies study concluded, as the government aims to complete one of the biggest overhauls of the benefits system since the introduction of tax credits in 2003.
The benefit clawbacks under the new system, which will affect around half of claimants, are expected to lead to a huge outcry from anti-poverty charities who have accused ministers of sanctioning more than a decade of austerity for some of the UK’s most hard-pressed households.
Earlier this month, welfare claimants began the fourth year of a benefits freeze imposed by the former chancellor George Osborne in 2016, which has already delivered cumulative savings of £4.4bn.
In March, the annual Households Below Average Income (HBAI) report covering 2017-18 found that 3.7 million children were living in absolute poverty, up from 3.5 million in 2016-17.
Universal credit is a merger of several benefits previously paid to claimants separately, including housing benefit, child tax credit and jobs seekers allowance.
The IFS said 11 million adults would lose or gain under new rules governing UC payouts, with 1.6 million gaining by more than £1,000 a year and 1.9 million losing at least that much.'
Read more: Almost two million people will lose £1,000 a year with universal credit – study