Working-age benefits uprating would be capped at just 1% for two years under the Liberal Democrats, the party has announced today (Sunday).
‘Uprating’ is a term used to the describe the amount benefits are increased on an annual (yearly) basis.
The promise will be included in the party’s general election manifesto and represents a real-terms cut to social security benefits, raising a reported £160 million for the treasury.
David Cameron and the Conservatives would go even further, by freezing working-age benefits at their current levels for at least two years.
The Liberal Democrats would also raise £125 million by ending Winter Fuel Payments and free TV licences for higher rate taxpayers.
As well as targeting welfare, the Liberal Democrats say they would save £200 million by abolishing the Tory Share for Rights scheme. The scheme is aimed at small businesses and asks workers to give up some of their employment rights in exchange for shares in the company.
Other policies to be unveiled at the party’s manifesto launch on Wednesday, include reforming bedroom tax to provide exemptions for disabled people, greater restrictions on Capital Gains Tax exemptions and closely align dividend tax rates with marginal income tax rates for higher and additional rate taxpayers – raising a total £1.9 billion.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the party’s approach to balancing the books will be one of the “heart as well as a brain”, by being honest with voters about who will be asked to contribute more and where cuts will fall.
Nick Clegg said: “We have a plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, which means we will cut less than the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour.
“It’s a plan to protect our economy and invest in our schools, hospitals and public services… a plan with a heart as well as a brain.”
A recent poll by YouGov/The Sun (10 April) puts the Liberal Democrats on just 8%. The Conservatives are on 33% and Labour are two points ahead on 35%. UKIP and the Green Party are currently polling at 13% and 5%, respectively.
Last edited at 03:40am on Sunday 12 April 2015 to provide further clarity.