Chancellor George Osborne is having to spend £25bn more on welfare than he planned this parliament because of rising demand for housing and disability benefits, Labour claimed on Sunday.
Figures commissioned from the House of Commons library by Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, and Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, suggest the bill for welfare is still predicted to go up significantly despite Conservative party claims to be saving money on benefits. Labour said a key cause of the higher than expected spending is that more people in work are having to rely on benefits because of low wages, as well as mismanaged reforms at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Their analysis of official figures suggests the government has overspent by £1.4bn on housing benefit for people in work, with the number of claimants increasing by more than 50% since 2010 and set to double by 2019.
The party also said the government has spent £8bn more than planned on incapacity benefits due to “chaotic delivery of reforms and failure to help disabled people into work”.
Balls and Reeves told the Politics Home website that:
The government has spent over £8 billion more than they planned on incapacity benefits due to their chaotic delivery of reforms and failure to help disabled people into work.
Delays to the delivery of the Personal Independence Payment have meant not only uncertainty for thousands of disabled people, but a mounting cost to the public purse, with £1.7 billion more spent than planned over the parliament.
And £130 million has been wasted on failed IT for Universal Credit, which is still only reaching less than one per cent of its intended caseload.