EMPLOYMENT minister Alok Sharma has come under fire after making 'insensitive' comments about changes to the Universal Credit (UC) measures.

The MP for Reading West has been labelled as patronising after he suggested that the new benefit system would 'incentivise' the self-employed 'to grow their earnings and become more productive and self-sufficient.'

Latest figures suggest two-thirds of self-employed claimants will suffer compared to the old allowance system, The Office for Budget Responsibility expects 432,000 people to lose an average of £2,927 per year by 2023.

The Minimum Income Floor bans the self-employed from claiming any more benefits if their profits drop below minimum wage.

Mr Sharma said: “As the OBR say in its report, the large implied losses per claimant are likely to prompt behavioural responses.

“We expect that some self-employed claimants will respond to this by increasing their monthly earnings from self-employment.

“Some will choose to work as an employee, and others will combine the two. All are potentially good outcomes for them, their families and the taxpayer.”