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Social security expenditure: Social Indicators summary

Published Friday, November 13, 2015

Summary data on benefit and tax credit expenditure in Great Britain.

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Expenditure in Great Britain on social security benefits (incl. state pension) and tax credits is forecast at £211.0 billion in 2015/16, equivalent to 28.4% of total public expenditure or 11.3% of UK GDP.

Expenditure on benefits administered by DWP and HMRC







Pensioner expenditure accounts for 55.3% (42.5% State Pension, 12.8% other pensioner benefits). Contributory benefits account for 46% of total spend (as against around 70% in the 1960s/1970s).

DWP/HMRC social security spending







In 2013-14 Council Tax Benefit was replaced by council-run schemes. The central subsidy for these is c.£4.3bn per year (not counted here).

In 2014-15, overpayment due to fraud and error in DWP benefits is estimated at £3.1bn (1.8% of total DWP benefit spend), of which £1.3bn was due to fraud. An estimated £1.6bn was underpaid in error.

Commons Briefing papers SN02656

Authors: Roderick McInnes; Grahame Allen

Topics: Benefits administration, Public expenditure, Working age benefits

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