The House of Commons Library Welfare Expenditure and Savings Tool combines multiple sources of expenditure and savings data into one easy to use, up-to-date analysis tool. Users can track changes in welfare expenditure over time, analyse savings as a proportion of expenditure and identify key policy measures by benefit announced since June 2010. Total spending on UK social security and tax credits will be £218.4 billion in 2016-17, 28.3% of total managed expenditure. Measures announced since 2010 will save around £26 billion in the same year, roughly 10% of what welfare spending might otherwise have been.Jump to full report >>
How has welfare expenditure changed over the last two decades? What are savings from tax credits as a proportion of total tax credits expenditure? Which is the single largest measure to have reduced expenditure on Housing Benefit since 2010?
The House of Commons Library Welfare Expenditure and Savings Tool (WEST) enables us to answer these and many more questions, combining multiple sources of expenditure and savings data into one easy to use, up-to-date analysis tool. WEST is available to download and use as an Excel spreadsheet, below.
Section 1 of the accompnaying PDF provides summary analysis of welfare expenditure and savings over time, produced using the analysis tool, while section 2 explains how WEST has been created.
Expenditure on UK social security and tax credits is forecast to be £218.4 billion in 2016-17, 28.3% of total managed expenditure. Assuming all savings announced between June 2010 and March 2016 are realised, as initially forecast, in full, a total of around £26 billion will be saved in 2016-17 as a result of changes in welfare spending.
This is roughly 10% of what welfare spending might otherwise have been had the then Government’s changes not been implemented. In 2020-21, savings equate to roughly 15% of what total spending might otherwise have been.
Of all savings announced June 2010 to March 2016, the three single largest measures are:
In 2016-17 HMRC Tax Credits expenditure was around £4 billion lower than it might otherwise have been had changes not been introduced, the largest reduction in monetary terms to any welfare category. Expenditure on Child Benefit was around 22% lower than it might otherwise have been, the largest reduction of any welfare category in percentage terms.
The State Pension was the single largest source of expenditure in each year 1996-97 to present, comprising 36% of expenditure in 1996-97 and 42% in 2016-17. In 2016-17 State Pension expenditure was, assuming initial estimates were realised as forecast, around £1.6 billion higher as a result of measures introduced since June 2010.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-7667
Author: Richard Keen
Topics: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Bereavement benefits, Family benefits, Housing benefits, Pensions, Public expenditure, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits, Working age benefits