Gordon Brown has warned there could be a “national uprising” if benefits are not raised in line with inflation.
The former prime minister described it as “immoral” if payments are not increased in response to rising inflation, which rose by 8.6% in the 12 months to August 2022.
Liz Truss and her government have so far failed to commit to a rise in line with inflation, although have indicated that a decision will be taken in “due course”.
Foreign secretary James Cleverley on Wednesday morning stated that the amount by which benefits will be increased will be confirmed later this year.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Brown argued that it is a “scar on the soul” of the country.
“It’s divisive because we’re not in this together any more,” the former Labour leader said.
“It’s anti-work because 40% of those who would suffer are people on low pay in work.
“It’s anti-family because five million children would be in poverty. And I think most of all it’s immoral.
“It’s asking the poor to bear the burden for the crisis that we face in this country and for mistakes that other people have made.
“And it’s a scar on the soul of our country, it’s a stain on our conscience.”
The former prime minister indicated that the poorest in society are being made to “pay the price” for the decisions taken by the Conservatives.
He added: “There will be a national uprising if this goes ahead because it is nothing to do with making the growth policies of the Government work, it is simply making the poor pay the price.”