One in four low-income families are set to lose more than £1,000 a year if Government plans to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit go ahead.

MP John Healey has warned that in the Wentworth & Dearne constituency, 10,170 families – a quarter of all working age families – are claiming Universal Credit (UC) or Working Tax Credit (WTC).

The figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation also show that nearly half of all families with children in the constituency are claiming UC or WTC.

They face a £20 a week cut from 6 October.

Mr Healey has obtained new figures from the House of Commons library showing the number of people claiming Universal Credit has more than doubled in Rotherham since the start of the pandemic and jumped by 78 per cent in Barnsley.

A third are working and the proportion of people claiming the benefit to top up low wages has gone up.

Mr Healey said: “In Rotherham and Barnsley, there are 25,000 more people claiming Universal Credit than before the pandemic.

“Nearly 20,000 are working but need Universal Credit to top up low wages.

“I’m fighting to get the Government to cancel the cut but if it goes ahead it will hit the lowest paid hardest, push more children into poverty and hurt our economic recovery.

“It’s the wrong decision and will be devastating for those families.”

Labour has said it would keep the uplift then replace Universal Credit with a fairer social security system so that people can keep more of what they earn.

Mr Healey added: “The reality is that in-work poverty is at record levels and Universal Credit has made work harder for too many people.

“People working full-time or working multiple jobs are still struggling to make ends meet – and that’s unacceptable.”

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation say that taking away £20 a week will push 500,000 people, including 200,000 children, into poverty and 5.5 million families will be affected.