Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill

On budget day, Richard Darlington, head of news at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), presents a detailed breakdown of the benefits bill.

E-mail-sign-up Donate

 

.

Richard Darlington is head of news at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

George Osborne is hoping to make one thing crystal clear: what your taxes are spent on.

You have to look really hard at the pie chart release by the Treasury to even notice the overseas aid budget, but the welfare bill hits you full in the face. Every taxpayer will welcome such transparency. But what the new personal tax statements won’t do is breakdown the big piece of the pie chart called ‘welfare’.

So in case you were wondering, here is what your personal tax statement could have shown you, if it did:

Breakdown-of-welfare-spending-2009-10
That’s right, two-fifths (42%) of welfare spending goes on pensioners: a whooping £77bn in total. And more than 15% – £31bn – goes on children, via child benefit and the child tax credit. That’s almost £6 out of every £10 of welfare spending accounted for and, so far, not a “scrounger” in sight.

Then we’ve got another 10% going on support for disabled people – and this should not be confused with incapacity benefit, now called employment and support allowance, or ESA. A further 5% goes to carers and boosting the incomes of the working poor.

Only a shade over a 10th of the benefits bill – and a far smaller share of total public spending – is actually spent on directly replacing the incomes of those not in work, through jobseeker’s allowance, income support and ESA (£21bn in total). The remaining large items of spending are council tax benefit (£5bn) and housing benefit (£20bn).

 


See also:

Budget 2012: Tippex still wet on the coalition agreement 21 Mar 2011

Budget 2012: Impact per decile – the poorer you are, the harder you’re hit 21 Mar 2011

Budget 2012: It may do nothing for growth, but the fat cats will purr more loudly 21 Mar 2012

“According to my tax breakdown, Daily Mail readers are the biggest scroungers” 20 Mar 2012

The charts that shame the “we’re all in this together” coalition 16 Mar 2012


 

This is not an argument for exempting the benefits system from the important task of deficit reduction – still less fixing the benefits system as it is. We need a highly active, conditional welfare system that enables (and expects) people to take advantage of employment growth, when it returns.

But these reform issues must be addressed on the basis of facts and proper transparency would be a good start.

 


Sign-up to our weekly email • Donate to Left Foot Forward

43 Responses to “Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill”

  1. Sarah Beattie-Smith

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/SaSucdty The avg earner pays £5k tax of which just £57 is for JSA

  2. BevR

    Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/BiSRZsKZ #democracybroken #ournhs #wrb #boycottworkfare #bullybudget #grannytax

  3. TeresaMary

    #Budget2012: Breaking down the benefits bill: http://t.co/QYOR3LXc by @IPPR’s @RDarlo #Budget

  4. Sean

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/UQj6qXys

  5. Richard Darlington

    #Budget2012: Breaking down the benefits bill: http://t.co/QYOR3LXc by @IPPR’s @RDarlo #Budget

  6. Budget 2012: Good or bad? For the few or the many? Vote in our survey | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill 21 Mar […]

  7. Jos Bell

    check out the welfare bill – but not in the way the govt want us to see it http://t.co/11nEekNE

  8. Legal Aware

    check out the welfare bill – but not in the way the govt want us to see it http://t.co/11nEekNE

  9. Anonymous

    I’m disabled according to the DWP severely, could I work yes with a lot of help, but are employers will to give me a chance nope the only work given to me has been voluntary or working for the state, the NHS which is always short term contracts doing very little.

    between labour and the Tories I’m now a work shy scrounger, but hell it had to change labour is moaning again the hard hit are the squeezed middle, Labour or Tory the difference these days are the leaders, and for me Miliband just does not do it

  10. Mr. Sensible

    See how the tabloids choose to spin this one…

  11. marie abbott

    check out the welfare bill – but not in the way the govt want us to see it http://t.co/11nEekNE

  12. b1gg4news

    I leave u with proof of the scrounger myth is lies http://t.co/x7WJ70Kg

  13. Max Dunbar

    Left Food Forward has a breakdown of the benefits bill. A third of it is pensions http://t.co/obGKnPkT

  14. Ruth Hayes

    check out the welfare bill – but not in the way the govt want us to see it http://t.co/11nEekNE

  15. john peter ingamells

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/hHNwbE18

  16. Jenny Smith

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/2RAQhPpA

  17. Jamie Potter

    Yeah I'm late to the party… Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/cEYMAIzf

  18. Shahinaz Nabeeh

    Yeah I'm late to the party… Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/cEYMAIzf

  19. craig dickens

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/b8IrYwCk

  20. Where's the Benefit?

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/RWVGxYt9

  21. Lisa Egan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/RWVGxYt9

  22. Foxy52

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/b8IrYwCk

  23. Obtuse™

    check out the welfare bill – but not in the way the govt want us to see it http://t.co/11nEekNE

  24. Catherine Brunton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/b8IrYwCk

  25. Steph

    RT @leftfootfwd: #Budget2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/a82XBySr The transparent truth of your tax bill statement #welfare

  26. Catherine Geldart

    RT @leftfootfwd: #Budget2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/a82XBySr The transparent truth of your tax bill statement #welfare

  27. Anne Corris

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/b8IrYwCk

  28. Sarah Axon

    This is really useful. Where did you get your figures from?

  29. Samuel Miller

    [UK] Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/p0gyPccI via @addthis #WRB

  30. Deborah Ruston

    [UK] Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/p0gyPccI via @addthis #WRB

  31. Wendy MacKenzie

    This shows how much of the Welfare Budget is ACTUALLY spent on us 'parasitic cheating scroungers' … it's a… http://t.co/E3THc25k

  32. TheCreativeCrip

    RT @leftfootfwd: #Budget2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/a82XBySr The transparent truth of your tax bill statement #welfare

  33. sean

    RT @leftfootfwd: #Budget2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/a82XBySr The transparent truth of your tax bill statement #welfare

  34. Richard Darlington

    Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill: On budget day, Richard Darlington, head of news at the Institute f… http://t.co/PnqyJrd9

  35. BevR

    Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill http://t.co/BiSRZsKZ #saveournhs #GPs #wrb #braveheart #democracybroken #corruption

  36. NE CP Commission

    RT @leftfootfwd: Budget 2012: Breaking down the Benefits Bill – http://t.co/E6tF9ABT

  37. Will Grayling and IDS stand up to Osborne over £10bn DWP cuts? | Left Foot Forward

    […] IPPR’s Richard Darlington explained on Left Foot Forward last week, a cut of “£1 in £20” will hit hard: [As Chart 1 shows], […]

  38. Look Left – Donors, petrol, Galloway... The week to end all weeks | Left Foot Forward

    […] Left Foot Forward has previously pointed out, huge cuts to the welfare budget will hit hard: As Chart 1 (gif) shows, two-fifths (42%) of welfare […]

  39. Richard Darlington

    IDS admits "there are no easy welfare cuts" in today's @TelePolitics: http://t.co/Q5pu6gC7 & here's why he's right: http://t.co/X5J1wcAt

  40. Richard Darlington

    RT “@IndyPolitics: Iain Duncan Smith attacks additional £10 billion welfare cuts http://t.co/G0qJzOe5” > my blog on why http://t.co/X5J1wcAt

  41. Council tax benefit reforms will hit working-age adults in poverty | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Budget 2012: Breaking down the benefits bill 21 Mar […]

  42. MK

    When you work out the money that goes to those not in work do you include all the ancillary benefits that they get like Child and Housing Benefit that they might not get if they were in work?

Leave a Reply