The next few weeks will be the best chance claimants have to prevent a catastrophic real-terms reduction in benefits rates from next April.  Many Conservative MPs are worried about losing their majorities and a wave of protest about possible benefit cuts may encourage them to force the government to back down.

The prime minister and chancellor have made it clear that they have not yet made a firm decision on whether to uprate benefits in line with inflation next April, in spite of both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak giving an undertaking to do so.

Instead, the idea is being mooted that benefits should be increased by the same rate as wages have gone up.  This would be around 5.4% instead of the 10% inflation figure.

There has been an outpouring of protest and concern from other political parties and from charities such as the Joseph Rowntree Trust (JRT) and Rethink Mental Illness about what would effectively be a cut in benefits rates at a time of great hardship.

JRT has pointed out that the government has cut the real value of benefits in 7 of the last 10 years.

Uprating by only 5.4% would mean that benefits are worth around 15% below the April 2016 level, when the benefits freeze began to bite.  This amounts to £470 a year less for a single adult.

JRT say that if the 5.4% rise goes ahead the poorest will see their income fall by £214 a year, whilst the richest would gain more than £5,000.

Katie Schmuecker, Principal Policy Adviser for JRF said:

“Reneging on the promise to raise benefits in line with inflation as usual would be a hostile and harmful act of historic proportions. It is morally indefensible for a government who have chosen to target tax cuts at the richest, to target spending cuts at those on the lowest incomes who are not responsible for this crisis.

 “This will terrify millions who have been enduring a cost of living emergency for months. They are facing a harsh winter – struggling to feed their families, cook hot food and heat their homes.”

Even a number of high profile Conservative politicians have attacked the idea of not fully uprating benefits, including Michael Gove, Esther McVey, Iain Duncan Smith and Penny Mordaunt.

Originally we would have had to wait until 23 November to be told what the government intends to do.  But pressure after the U-turn on cutting the 45p rate of tax means that Kwarteng will now set out his plans by the end of October.

Once the decision has been announced it will take vastly more effort to get it changed.

So, the time to write to your MP and give your opinion is right now.  And, for once, it will be particularly valuable to write to your MP to ask them to support a benefits increase if they are a Conservative.  Because this may be the one time when, looking at an increased chance of losing their job if they don’t, they may just decide to speak up in public for claimants.

You can find your MP here

If you have contacts with a charity or disability organisation that has not yet spoken out against the cuts, it would definitely be worth contacting them and asking for their support. 

If you do take action, please post a comment below and let us know what response you get.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Stacey · 1 years ago
    Hi my name is Stacey I live in hull I have rang my local MP for my area sadly can't get intouch, due to my concerns, I'd like to raise with them,iv gone over to universal credits ,due to a change ,and i get PIP ,due to been very sick and can't work ,the universal credits said ,they can't pay me becouse I need a fitnote ,to prove to them I'm sick and I need to have some test done ,that is no concern the problem I have that they told me it takes 9months to short and you onley get the 6months back dated ,so wen the government was handing all this money out for us all to keep worm ,it's coming off our benfits one way oh the other so the hand outs are free ,I'm so cross I can't work because I'm to sick ,then haveing ti prove again that Yr sick is a nightmare, then going over from incomesupport to a new benfit I'm so worse off I don't think it's fair how the government as the right to poor the poor even poorer, now we have a new government I think our benfits are going to be lower how can someone who is rich ever understand someone who is poor you tell me that xx
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    Mr B · 1 years ago
    Hi all

    I'm writing this on the day Liz Truss has announced her intention to resign as PM. I'm not sure how, or if, the current political chaos will affect the uprating issue.  In brief, like some others here, I wrote to my Tory MP about uprating and said that in my view working age benefits should be uprated in line with inflation as usual.  He replied but simply gave information about help with energy costs and what the procedure was regarding the uprating review ie that this will be carried out by the DWP Secretary of State etc.  He gave no indication as to whether he agreed with me that the link to inflation should be maintained.  I've replied to him - this was before today - thanking him for his reply but saying I was very disappointed that as my constituency MP he had given no indication of his views on a matter of considerable importance to me as his constituent and I also pointed out that some other Conservative MPs have said they think the link with inflation should be maintained.  I also told him that I; and many others, think there should be a general election now rather than what I called the "musical chairs" approach adopted by the Government. Of course, we today have been told that there will indeed be another round of musical chairs to choose another Prime Minister, this would then be the third Prime Minister this year!  In conclusion I told him that if the Government is foolish enough to uprate at a level less than inflation then this will be fiercely resisted both within and outside Parliament.  Not sure if I'll get a reply from my second letter but depending on the decision the Government makes re uprating, I may very well be contacting him again!

    Kind regards

    Mr B
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      Mr B · 1 years ago
      @Minder Mum Hi Minder Mum

      Many thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your comments.  I'm typing this on the day that it's been announced that Rishi Sunak will become Prime Minister.  As you probably know he has previously said that working age benefits should be uprated in line with inflation, now that he's to be the Prime Minister though who knows whether that will actually happen?  We can but hope!

      Kind regards

      Mr B 🙂
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      Minder Mum · 1 years ago
      @Mr B Well Done Mr B, Very proactive and assertive, holding your representative in Parliament to account. Typical politician to advise you about energy assitance that you probably aloready knew about ages ago.l

      But please ask your MP about raising the Benefit Cap, which has remained at the same level for six years since it was reduced in 2016. If the government does not increase this, everyone will be hit by this and will lose some part of their desperately needed increase.
      Thank you,

      Minder Mum
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    paula · 1 years ago
    sent letter today,fingers crossed they listen to us
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    Minder Mum · 1 years ago
    Thank you for the template and example letters, very helpful and clear. If we live in an area with a Tory MP we need to write to them even if it's just to stop them saying their disabled constituents haven't raised an objection to the 5.4% increase (cut) to their benefits. They may not do as we ask, but they can't claim they haven't been told of our objections. 
    I will definitely write to Marcus Fish for Somerset and also to Penny Mordaunt and Chloe Smith MP for Norwich North, who was appointed the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work in September 2021.

    This is also Vitally Important. -  B & W adjudicators, please can you advise as well?

    Please would everyone include a request to their MP to 'URGENTLY Do Something' to increase the Benefits Cap which has not increased for the past six years.. 
    This was set (Outside Greater London) at £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) for a single person without children, or £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a couple, in November 2016 and has NOT been increased since then. Six years of inflation including the current 10% have NOT been added onto the Benefit Cap!
    Around 130,000 households had their benefit (either HB or UC) capped (reduced) in May 2022
    This is really important because if the Government doesn't increase it, even a 5.4% rise will mean that many people's increase will be taken away (when have we heard that before).

    I am really worried that my daughter's benefits will be capped/ reduced through her HB as any increase next April will push her income over the current Ben Cap level. So not only will she not be able to afford the increased cost of living, she'll receive less money from the Government as well.
    We ALL NEED to write to our MP's about this and get them to Set in place 'a proper mechanism to raise the Benefit Cap every year in line with inflation' along with Benefits and also the MIG (Minimum Income Guarantee) which also has no annual increase mechanism. 
    The MIG affects people's financial contributions to their carer/ support through the local council which means people have to pay more because the government say that disabled people can live on less (between £94 - £156 per week in 2022-23). 
    This also did not rise from 2013 - 2021, when the government only increased it after a private individual took legal action against a local council to force them to increase it.
    I Thank You for reading my rather long but essential post.
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      caroline moy · 1 years ago
      @Lorna Lorna,
      Thank you so much for your post and for including the request for your MP to increase the Benefit Cap, the M I G as well as Benefits . You got it absolutely right, 
      Why punish people on Benefits who can't afford the Cost of Living increases, just to satisfy a figure the Tories imposed six years ago!!

      Anyone else writing to their MPs about this too? 

      We could also include Carer's Allowance as that is a pittance at £69.70 per week for at least 35 hours = less than £2 per hour!!!!! 
      Then if you earn more that £132 per week (15 hrs at minimum wage of £9.00) the C A is stopped as well.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Lorna · 1 years ago
      @Minder Mum Thank you, I have added this information to my letter. No point in getting a 10% raise if it's taken off again by the Benefits Cap and Minimum income Guarantee! 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Haseya · 1 years ago
      @Minder Mum Where are the templates please?
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    BD · 1 years ago
    Perhaps they should be targeting the free / reduced price bars and restaurants on the parliamentary estate, together with the huge MP expenses bills.
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    Leilah J Zaheer · 1 years ago
    It is bad though we will wait And see what happens 
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    K · 1 years ago
    I have contacted Sir Paul Beresford MP (Conservative MP for Mole Valley) in the hope of encouraging him to support the 10% inflation-linked uprate in benefits. 
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    Catlady63 · 1 years ago
    About time their did some for disabled people who can't work because their disable .stop it
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    fil501 · 1 years ago
    As if it wasn't bad enough to receive this year's benefits at a rate well below inflation due to them being calculated in October 2021, and now they want to change the goalposts to suit them. It really is despicable.
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    Roadrage · 1 years ago
    It will be little point in contacting Will Quince , tory mp for Colchester . He has gone against all that would apply to those of us who live from day to day , even voting against providing meals for poorer children , yet he can enjoy a boozy karaoke with Teresa Coffey . Labour are doing all they can so one day we can wave him goodbye hopefully
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    PS7 · 1 years ago
    I found this letter writing templateif anyone is wanting to write to them 
    to help you x

    https://turn2us.eaction.org.uk/costoflivingcrisis
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jenga · 1 years ago
    Love the way the Tories turn on themselves! The whole lot along with the Lib Dems would be happy to sell their kids to save their jobs!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Karen · 1 years ago
    I have just written to my MP. Let’s see what happens! 
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    TheHud · 1 years ago
    It may be worth pointing out that the mood has changed in the UK.  The last years of Covid has made people realise that anyone is only a bit of bad luck away from potential destitution.  The Welfare system including benefits, is the support system that we all rely on even when we don't need it, it's an insurance policy. State intervention was essential during the worst of the pandemic as it may well be again.  Long covid can make the most active, young and healthy need benefits, covid has changed the way we all think about the essential, life supporting safety net that is our benefits system
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    plinth · 1 years ago
    Its really cone to something when Esther McVey and Iain Duncan Smith are complaining about possible benefits cuts. Let’s just hope that the current government completely collapses in the next month or so and a General Election is called. Fortunately I live in a Labour constituency but I hope everyone who has a Tory MP will be able to contact their 
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      Shaz · 1 years ago
      @MrFibro Well said 
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      MrFibro · 1 years ago
      @plinth Porridge,

      The Tories will oust Truss, in order to save the nasty party, by replacing her with some other heartless c***. And that new PM will be just another waste of oxygen.

      mcvity and that twat d smith and all the other who are against these cuts, are all basically lying, or full of eternal remorse.  For the deaths and misery that have inflicted on claimants.

      It's just a political move to oust truss, thats all.  If the government collapses then it's got to be labour  ( they have a massive lead over Tories).  As those snidey libdems were in bed with the Tories a while back, and the mugs propped up the tories powerhouse.  So no empathy if libdems gets in.

      Thing with tories they are resilient and tend to get away with things in parliament, by re-writing the rules book when it suits them.  A GE  should had been put to the people when that dodgy dorris johnson got outed ( or resigned if you wish).

      That kaziwang idiot is just a waste of space,  his sole intentions is like all tories, they are there just for themselves, and the rich fat cats + elite in our society. 

      I'ts always the benefits sytem / + disabled sick/ ill claimants who have to take the fall for Tory bullsups, and their policies  ie austerity for one.

      Good luck to all.



  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Waylay · 1 years ago
    Sent hi
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    denby · 1 years ago
    This is the meat of what I sent, in case it helps anyone who struggles to compose something. We are in a 'red wall' former mining area, you might tweak the 'needy' bit to suit where you are, eg 'levelling up for needy people here'

    " I must ask you as a crucial part of levelling up this needy Constituency, to do everything possible to ensure all benefits are increased at least in line with current inflation.

    The Joseph Rowntree Trust [JRT] has pointed out that the government has cut the real value of benefits in 7 of the last 10 years.

    Uprating by only 5.4% would mean that benefits are worth around 15% below the April 2016 level, when the benefits freeze began to bite. This amounts to £470 a year less for a single adult.

    JRT say that if the 5.4% rise goes ahead the poorest will see their income fall by £214 a year, whilst the richest would gain more than £5,000. That is NOT levelling up.

    I must also emphasize from family experience that it is essential to include all of the 'legacy' benefits in full uprating. People who are on these have been disabled or unwell for a long time, by definition. They were denied the £20 extra during Covid lockdowns despite their extra need for heating when shielding, expensive home deliveries etc. And long years of low income bring the need for eg new footwear, or domestic appliance replacements, which can be a real struggle on such a low income.

    Please commit to restoring the real value of all benefits to at least 2016 equivalent values."
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      matthewafollows · 1 years ago
      @denby I’m in a labour seat but thank you very much for providing that for others! It’s so helpful! 
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    BirtyB · 1 years ago
    Hi All,
    I have sent a message to my MP using the link provided. My MP is one of the red wall MPs that won the seat rather surprisingly in 2019. I have said that I urge her to vote in favour of increasing benefits by the rate of inflation and not by the rate of average earnings. Having studied her voting record on welfare I don't hold out much hope, but I did remind her that a general election is not that far away even if it runs the full term. I also pointed out that people on disability benefits are suffering more than most with the energy crisis
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mr B · 1 years ago
      @BirtyB Glad you've also contacted your MP BirtyB! With the current chaos in the Government and even some cabinet ministers and other senior Tories expressing opposition to anything other than uprating working age benefits in line with inflation I suspect that any proposal for a less "generous" uprating is dead in the water. If the Government is foolish enough to try to change the uprating method, I think they'd find it very difficult - if not impossible - to get it through the Commons! I hope others will also contact their MPs as previous personal experience has shown that this can make a positive difference whereas simply 'venting' anger, frustration, fear etc - which we all do from time to time - rarely changes anything for the better!

      Kind regards

      Mr B
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mr B · 1 years ago
    Hi all

    Just a quickie to say that using the link given in the article I've just sent a message to my MP about this.  It's really easy to do, it's free and the "Write to them" system sends the message to your MP for you, they also send you a copy of your message.  I have also received an email from my MP's office confirming that they've received my message.

    I encourage others to write to their MP (especially if they have a Conservative MP as I do) and this method makes it a lot easier to do.

    Best wishes

    Mr B 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Anees Muhammad · 1 years ago
      @Mr B Hello 

      I send a message to my MP to request him to take our voice in parliment, what he dost always. Hope to get good outcome.
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