George Osborne's controversial plan to slash tax credits for working families has been criticised by a committee of MPs that includes six Conservative MPs.
The "emergency" intervention by the Work and Pensions Select Committee, which called on the Chancellor to pause the crackdown for a year, represents the latest opposition from those normally supportive of him.
Tory MPs, right-leaning commentators and The Sun newspaper are among the "critical friends". He has pledged to announce details of a U-turn at the autumn statement this month against being labelled "downright stupid".
TAX CREDITS: THE IMPACT
Tax credits are welfare payments to families raising children and working people on low incomes.
More than three million families will lose an average of £1,300 a year from April
The cuts will deliver £4.4bn of the Chancellor’s planned welfare cuts by reducing the earnings level at which tax credits start to be withdrawn from £6,420 to £3,850.
The Government says eight out of 10 would be "better off" overall from a package which also includes increases in the minimum wage for over-25s, rises in the income tax threshold and extended free childcare.