Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

The optics look very bad from the Chancellor.

Much attention has been focussed on the triple lock but another area which may cause the government trouble is the forthcoming cut to the universal credit uplift. The optics of cutting universal credit in October whilst giving pensioners an 8% increase (or any increase) really look at best unfortunate and at worst callous.

Ed Miliband will attest that opposing austerity isn’t a vote winner but this time it might be. Unlike the austerity of the coalition there was a feeling that we were all in it together and there weren’t many Conservatives MPs opposing austerity but now there are many who are opposed to the cut in the universal credit uplift. I think has sunk in that it isn’t just unemployed people who receive universal credit.

Some backbench Conservative MPs have gone public recently, last month the Northern Research Group also want the uplift to be made permanent, whilst six former Conservative Secretaries of State for Work & Pensions, including the architect of universal credit Iain Duncan Smith, have also called for the uplift to remain permanently, what makes it even more striking is that all wings of the party seem to back making the increase permanent. At the start of August it was said 60 Conservative MPs oppose the cut to universal credit. Analysis shows the Conservative Red Wall seats will be hit hard by the cut.

With Sunak’s £400,000 home improvements and Boris Johnson’s comments on universal credit recipients look very bad as Sunak and Johnson are set to deliver the “biggest overnight cut in benefits since the Second World War”.

Unsurprisingly Labour MPs have managed to make the link between Sunak’s home improvements and taking money away from the poor.

For those of you took advantage of the PB tip of Sunak as Johnson’s successor at around 250/1 and haven’t laid some of that off then you should do so. I suspect a devil’s trifecta of Sunak’s personal situation, the upcoming universal credit cut, and whatever he does on the triple lock will make him unpopular and those stellar ratings will be but a distant memory and so will his popularity amongst Tory MPs to replace Boris Johnson.


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