TORY ministers are being urged to consider a planned cut to Universal Credit as a leading anti-poverty charity has warned that it constitutes the biggest overnight cut to social security since the Second World War.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) warned that half a million more people –including 200,000 children – will be pulled into poverty if the cut is to go ahead.

The £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit was made amid the start of the coronavirus pandemic but the Tory government plans to cut it in October.

The cut to the incomes of around six million families would be a huge shock, JSF added.

The JSF analysis showed that working families will be most adversely by the cut and families with children will be disproportionately impacted.

READ MORE: Politicians from all four UK nations unite to demand Tory U-turn on benefits cut

In an illustrative scenario of a family with three children, with one adult working full-time and the other part-time, living in a medium-cost area they would have been £271 a month above the poverty line in 2013/14.

Cuts and freezes in the years leading up to the Covid pandemic meant that, even with the £20 uplift, the same family are now below the poverty line and if the cut goes ahead they will be £150 per month below it.

Katie Schmuecker, deputy director of policy and partnerships for the JRF, described Universal Credit as a "lifeline that has helped keep millions of heads above water".

She added that the new analysis "should act as a stark warning of the immense, immediate and avoidable consequences of what amounts to the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War".

The SNP’s work and pensions spokesperson, David Linden MP (below), has said that the Chancellor, the Prime Minister and the rest of the Tory government should use the summer recess to consider the impact their plans will have.

READ MORE: SNP slam Tory decision to end £20 Universal Credit uplift as ‘indefensible’

Linden, the MP for Glasgow East, said: “Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson should use their summer recess to think about the impact this huge cut will have on the six million families across the UK, many of whom are already struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

“I am urging them to re-think their decision to go ahead with one of the biggest cuts in history, which will plunge 200,000 children into poverty, as well as undermine the positive impact the Scottish Child Payment is having, at a time when the UK is still reeling from a decade of Tory austerity, Brexit and a global pandemic.

“Instead the UK Government must give support and put money in people’s pockets by making the uplift permanent and extending it to legacy benefits, scrapping the two-child cap and sanctions regime, and matching the Scottish Child Payment.

The National:

READ MORE: SNP call on Tories to 'meet rhetoric with action' over Universal Credit uplift

“Beyond this, they must bring in a Real Living Wage. The JRF’s new data, which reveals that working families make up the majority of those who will be hit by the cut, trashes the Tories’ rhetoric that ‘working pays’.

“The Tories at Westminster continue to show they cannot be trusted with Scotland’s recovery and to protect the families that live here. The only way to build a strong, fair and equal recovery is for Scotland to become an independent country - with the full powers to create jobs, boost incomes and tackle poverty and inequality head-on.”