Plans to cut the disability benefit PIP were just a "suggestion", a Conservative Cabinet minister has said.

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, appeared uncomfortable when asked about the cut on the BBC' Question Time programme.

The cuts would see 370,000 disabled people lose an average of £3,500 a year, reduce payments for disabled people who require specially adapted appliances to live independent lives.

In the same Budget, the Chancellor announced tax cut for the top 15 per cent of earners, as well as cuts to tax on corporations' profits and cuts to capital gains tax paid by the investor class.

Economists have pointed out that the higher rate tax cut is budgeted to cost the Treasury broadly same amount of money as the cuts to disability benefits will save.

The cuts were mooted by the Government last year, consulted on, confirmed last week, and then confirmed again in the Budget.

Some Conservative MPs have however voiced fears about the cuts' effects.

Ms Morgan said the proposals were still being consulted on - though the website of Department for Work and Pensions said the consultation had concluded and was now closed.

She drew disbelief from fellow panelists on the programme, who ridiculed her suggestion that the Chancellor's Budget was merely a "suggestion".

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