More cuts in benefits have been demanded by a Staffordshire MP, as Chancellor George Osborne prepares to set out measures to help families with the cost of living.
MP Aidan Burley said existing benefit cuts did not go far enough.
Speaking in the House of Commons, he highlighted the Government’s policy of capping benefits at £500 a week, or £26,000 a year.
The aim is to ensure it always pays to work, according to Ministers.
But Cannock Chase MP Mr Burley said many people actually took home much less than this – and called for the cap to be reduced.
He said: “The people of Cannock Chase welcome the Government’s brave decision to introduce a cap on benefits, but when their average earnings are £23,900 a year before tax and the cap is set at the equivalent of an annual salary of £35,000 a year, they understandably still feel that people can be better off on benefits than in work.”
Speaking to Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, he said: “Will he look at lowering the overall benefits cap or regionalising it, so that it always pays to work, wherever someone lives?”
Mr Clegg, who was standing in for David Cameron while the Prime Minister leads a trade delegation to China, replied: “We have not taken an approach of regionalising the benefit cap.”
George Osborne, the Chancellor, will set out the state of the economy and announce new measures to cut the cost of living, possibly including a continuation of the freeze on fuel duty.
Key announcements include funding of more than £1 billion over two years to provide free school meals for all children in reception, years one and two.
Mr Osborne will announce the end of the car tax disc – made redundant by modern technology allowing police to check easily whether a vehicle is taxed or not.
People in their 40s will have to wait until the age of 68 for their state pension, as changes planned for 2046 are bought forward to the mid-2030s.