OXFORDSHIRE Welfare Rights adviser Peter Turville said people from all walks of life would be affected by changes to welfare reforms.

He said universal credit would leave lots of claimants worse-off, and said the complicated nature of the new system would create extra work for councils and advice centres.

He said: “In effect what they’re doing is combining existing complex means-tested benefits. There will be winners and losers, although there will be more losers.

“The group which is going to be the worst affected will be people with disabilities because the current additions they get to their benefits will be cut.

“In the worst case scenarios this could mean people losing more than £200 a week in income. There will be scenarios in which people will be hit by several different things at once.”

He added: “They’re not simplifying the system. That’s the big myth. If you look at the detail of the means test it’s more complicated than the current system.

“It’s all about saving money, and it’s a legitimate Government policy to look at the social security system, but the spin they have put on it is so inaccurate.

“I think they have been very successful at spinning this, with their saints and scroungers message, to make people believe that the problem with the welfare system is the people who claim benefits.”

DWP spokesman Dan Barnes said claims that universal credit would not simplify benefits was “nonsense”.

He said: “The claim that the old system is simpler completely dumbfounds me.

“Universal Credit will be a lot simpler for people to understand what they are getting and how that will change if they go to work.”