Could Universal Credit be the new Poll Tax and bring down the government?

John Major has warned that Universal Credit could be the new poll tax.

The former prime minister has claimed the government's key welfare reform is being brought in so fast it could spell 'deep political trouble' for Mrs May's government.

Mr Major was speaking to the BBC and said the policy would be viewed as unfair by a majority of British people.

Riots against the Poll Tax led to Mrs Thatcher quitting Number 10 and being replaced by Mr Major in 1990.

WHAT WAS THE POLL TAX?

The Poll Tax was an attempt by the Conservatives to change the way local government was funded.

They wanted to bring in a new tax, officially known as the Community Charge, levied on all adults rather than a charge on properties.

The government argued it was fairer than the existing 'rates' system but it proved deeply unpopular as poor families in small houses saw their taxes rise, while richer ones in bigger properties saw theirs fall.

WHAT WERE THE POLL TAX RIOTS?

Opposition to the tax grew and planned demonstrations took place around the UK.

The most infamous of these was the anti-Poll Tax demonstration, which descended into a riot, that took place on March 31, 1990, in London's Trafalgar Square.

Tensions were running high between police, some mounted, and a crowd of up to 250,000 protesters.

Police were attacked with traffic cones, bricks and sticks and one infamous saw one demonstrator hit by a police horse. The shocking violence saw more than 100 people injured and almost 340 people arrested. Twenty police horses were also hurt.

READ MORE FROM YAHOO NEWS UK:

This is now the world's most powerful passport for travel freedom
Hurricane Michael: At least one person killed as 'terrifying' 155mph winds lash Florida
Greek island bans overweight tourists from riding donkeys after animals suffer spinal injuries
Christian bakers win Supreme Court ruling that they discriminated against 'Support Gay Marriage' cake
Storm Callum to hit UK on morning of Princess Eugenie's royal wedding

WHY IS UNIVERSAL CREDIT BEING COMPARED TO THE POLL TAX?

Universal credit is a benefit for working-age people, replacing six types of payment and merging them into one payment.

The benefits affected are income support, child tax credit, working tax credit, jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance and housing benefit.

However, critics have pointed to delay in payments, up to six weeks in some cases.

The government has also privately admitted that millions of families would lose the equivalent of £2,400 a year under the new system.

However, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. who announced the policy back in 2010, still supports Universal Credit.

WILL THERE BE RIOTS OVER UNIVERSAL CREDIT?

John Major has ruled out riots but not a political backlash.

'I am saying that if you have people who have that degree of loss, that is not something that the majority of the British population would think of as fair.

'And if people think you have to remove yourself from fairness, then you are in deep political trouble.'

This article originally appeared on Yahoo

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS