UPDATE: I have now added in housing benefit – apologies for the omission, and thanks to Paul Treloar for pointing it out.
The brains over at the Treasury are currently trying to work out if there is a way to cut billions of pounds of public spending by freezing benefits in a way that would also be palatable to most voters. As we reported last week, it looks like pensions will be exempted from any freeze to avoid accusations of punishing older people. But what else is up for grabs, and how much could be saved?
Here is a table of each of the most significant benefits paid out by DWP and how much each one costs. I’ve done one column for how much was spent last year, one for how much is forecast to be spent next year, factoring in various policy changes, and one for how much they would cost next year if there were no spending cuts and they were allowed to rise with 5.2 per cent inflation.
Below are two tables: one bar chart showing how much each costs, and the other a pie chart showing what proportion of spending they took up last year. The most immediate observation is just how much of total spending is taken up by the state pension. I’ll leave you to formulate other conclusions.
|Type of benefit||2010/11||2011/12 forecast||2010/11 plus 5.2% inflation|
|Disability living allowance||11,915,200,000||12,614,664,059||12,534,790,400|
|Winter fuel allowance||2,743,100,000||2,135,837,972||2,885,741,200|
|Employment support allowance||2,231,700,000||4,007,254,225||2,347,748,400|