Opposition MPs and campaign groups are now urging Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to do more to help struggling families as the cost of living crisis bites and benefits fail to increase accordingly.
Benefits and the state pension will rise by 3.1 percent in April, well below inflation, which the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said could reach a 40-year high of 8.7 percent by the end of 2022.
MPs have said Mr Sunak could have done more for those on Universal Credit, as soaring household bills far outstrip the benefits increase.
But Mr Sunak told MPs that he had announced “targeted support to those who need it most”.
Defending his decision in front of the Treasury Committee last week, Mr Sunak said tax cuts and support for energy bills were among a number of “progressive” measures that would help those on low pay the most.