CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is facing fresh calls to scrap the “unjust” benefit cap, with new figures suggesting the number of those affected by it could rise dramatically next year.

Introduced by the UK Government in 2013, the benefit cap blocks households from receiving the financial assistance they might otherwise be entitled to, and does not rise with inflation.

Official figures show that 120,000 UK households are currently missing out on an average of £2600 a year due to the cap.

Recent analysis by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) found that this figure could rise to more than 150,000 households unless the limit on how much they can receive from social security is increased.

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While a DWP spokesperson responded by saying the cap is kept under review, they nevertheless defended the measure, saying it “provides a strong work incentive and ensures fairness for hard-working taxpaying households by encouraging people to move into work, where possible.”

Scottish charity the Poverty Alliance – which coordinates the “Scrap the Cap” campaign, supported by more than 100 organisations including Save the Children UK, One Parent Families Scotland and the Trussell Trust – this week wrote to Sunak, calling on him to either end the benefit cap or raise it in line with living costs.

Poverty Alliance director Peter Kelly said: “The benefit cap is completely unjust and should have no place in a compassionate society.

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"It cuts the lifeline that people need and are entitled to.

“The present crisis is simply the latest episode of an ongoing injustice, where people’s incomes have fallen and the social security net that we all rely on has been deliberately cut, with the benefit cap being just one example.

“The very least the Chancellor can do is to make sure that the cap is raised in line with the real cost of living.

"Better still, he should find the courage and compassion to scrap the cap altogether.”