Benefits - and how much they should rise by - is the latest political hot topic, with the decision hanging in the hands of Norwich North MP Chloe Smith. But what do her constituents think? NOAH VICKERS spoke with some

Appointed as work and pensions secretary in September, Ms Smith has been tasked with working out whether universal credit should rise with inflation - or whether to only keep pace with the smaller average rise in wages.

The decision will have major consequences for some of Britain's most vulnerable people.

But what does her electorate, in the north of the city, think she should do? We spoke to voters in her Norwich North constituency.

'The most vulnerable in society'

Sam Fletcher, a 46-year-old civil servant, said: "I think they should rise with inflation.

"I can see the point of view of people in work, not getting that, but at the same time, I think the people on benefits are the most vulnerable in society, so they should certainly keep up with the cost of living rises, if possible.

"And of course, it's even worse if all you're actually paying for is food and heat anyway, because you're going to spend it all quicker."

'It's hard, I've got to be honest'

Simon Maher, a warehouse supervisor, agreed: "Everything's going up [in price], that's the thing, they [benefits] should go up by that amount as well."

Mr Maher, 53, said he had been severely impacted by the inflationary crisis: "We've got to stretch things out as much as we can, and cut things down. It's hard, I've got to be honest with you."

'It's a scandal'

Sue Rimes, a retired computer programmer, said the benefits should "absolutely" rise with inflation.

"Because the price of living is so high, [and] they're being hammered disproportionately by fuel rises and housing costs.

"I think people should get enough wages for them not to need benefits. They should be high enough to be able to support themselves."

Ms Rimes, 62, added: "It's a scandal that you've got where both parents are in work, and they're still having to claim benefits, just to have enough to feed their kids basically."

'Inflation happens for a reason'

Paul Brown, 30, who works in recruitment, said he also supported an inflation-matching rise.

"Things are getting more expensive - it's all relative, isn't it?"

He added: "Inflation happens because people make certain decisions - it's not an accident."