Whitehall is making plans for a Commons vote on George Osborne’s welfare cap within a month, Sky News understands, in the clearest sign that the Chancellor has missed his self-imposed welfare cap.
The Treasury has struggled to alleviate the immediate £4.4bn cuts to tax credits this April, to provide a better transition to the Government’s aim of a “low welfare, low tax, high wage economy”.
Any slowing down of this year’s planned cut would have to be made up for by welfare cuts in other areas such as child benefit or housing benefit.
Sky News understands the additional cuts to housing benefit tomorrow are relatively modest in scope, in the hundreds of millions per year and nowhere near sufficient to mitigate a multibillion gap.
The problem arises because Mr Osborne, in addition to making sharp welfare cuts, chose to push down the welfare cap to the levels of welfare spending forecast in July by the Office of Budget Responsibility – £115bn in the 2016/17 financial year.
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