Treasury officials have asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to find even deeper cuts to welfare spending, according to reports.
BBC Newsnight’s Political Editor, Allegra Stratton, has reported that treasury officials have asked Iain Duncan Smith to find £15bn of welfare cuts, rather than the £12bn originally promised in the Tory manifesto.
A treasury source allegedly told Allegra Stratton that both child tax credits and working tax credit could be in the firing line for £8bn in cuts.
David Cameron recently dismissed reports that the government is looking at slashing child benefit.
However, other options reportedly being considered include even tougher restrictions on migrants benefits and lowering the benefit cap to below £20,000 a year.
The Prime Minister has also failed to rule out cuts to disability benefits.
Even if the government sticks to its pledge of £12bn in welfare cuts, it would be extremely difficult to achieve such a reduction in spending without hurting low-income working families, many of whom could be ‘blue-collar’ Tory voters.
A DWP spokesperson told the Independent newspaper: “The Chancellor and the Prime Minister have been very clear about the savings that will need to be made from the welfare budget on numerous occasions”.