£2 in every £3 of welfare benefit spend goes to pensioners IDS confirms

IDS confirmed in Parliament yesterday at DWP Questions that more than £2 in every £3 spent on welfare benefits goes to pensioners.

Hansard states:

Mr Philip Hollobone(Kettering) (Con): How much his Department spent on benefits in 2010; and what estimate he has made of such spending in 2015. [905107]

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Iain Duncan Smith): In 2010-11, the Department for Work and Pensions spent £54 billion on working age claimants and children at today’s prices, and £106 billion on pensioners. Total expenditure was 9.8% of GDP. In 2015-16, as a result of our changes, the Department will spend £54 billion on working age claimants and children at today’s prices, and £116 billion on pensioners.

A simple way to view these figures is below:


Cue howls of derision from the older persons lobbies and just about everyone else!  How dare I say that!!  Pensioners have earned this money and ‘worked all their lives’ and other arguments will spew forth which of course fail to consider that those on the dole have contributed too.  Yet mention that pensions are part of the welfare benefit spend – which ALL governments past and present maintain.

We need to get over that view as this has significant consequences for the welfare benefit bill such as the HB bill will always increase given people are living longer.  It also has huge issues for the ‘welfare reform’ policies such as will the next government apply the bedroom tax and benefit cap to pensioners? Given that 31% of all social housing tenants are retired yet only 7.4% of private tenants are retired and four in every five retired tenants lives in social housing then the fact that £2 in every £3 goes to pensioners has significant consequences for social housing such as how do we afford sheltered housing.

You cannot merely dismiss the FACT that £2 in every £3 of the welfare benefit spend goes to pensioners by saying they are worthy recipients yet working-age persons in receipt of welfare benefits are not.  If all benefit recipients are scroungers – as government rhetoric and Benefit Street and other TV ‘reality’ programmes want us to believe – then the biggest scroungers are pensioners?  Of course not yet why are we taken in with this political blame game and why are we stupid enough to believe it?

I will be discussing what this means in a series of posts but for now the simple point of this short blog is to get the FACT out there that over £2 in every £3 in welfare benefits goes to pensioners….FACT!!


13 thoughts on “£2 in every £3 of welfare benefit spend goes to pensioners IDS confirms

  1. This increase was always going to get bigger – still a lot less though than people needing care homes! This is where they really need to look at freezing rents. The good old HAs and councils have received enough money to pay for these houses ten fold.

  2. I’m surprised that IDS gave such a glaring admission in reply to an answer.

    Its not like him to do that, I bet Mcvey gave him what for when he got back to the office!

  3. 0f course its higher. there are lots more pensioners living longer these days, doesnt take a mathematician to work out that the bill is gonna be significantly larger than in years gone by.,plus most need more to live on too. a lot are very active but it costs money to be able to go out be it on a bus or your own car.if you dont go out you become ill, depressed. those with a growing number of ailments, who want to keep themselves as fit n healthy as they can, cant do it. cost of living, taxis,fuel, other bills all go up countless times a year in some cases, and pensioners simply cannot afford it unless their spouse left them well looked after financially.

  4. You only seem to be talking about tenants. Most pensioners own their own houses and contribute taxes, etc.
    I get fed up of apologising for living to collect my pension, having worked most of my life.
    My husband died six months after collecting his, so he was a net contributor. So is it okay if I live a bit longer to make up for it, as my grandchildren would be most upset if I died so soon after their grandad?

    1. I was not talking only about tenants at all or does the article say this. I merely and correctly said two-thirds of welfare benefit spend goes to pensioners. Tenants are often seen as the ONLY benefit recipients I agree and home owners or indeed working people not seen as welfare benefit recipients which they are.

  5. what makes you think tenants don’t pay taxes??? I get fed up of hearing people talking about tenants as if they are the lowest of the low. don’t work.don’t pay taxes. have kids running wild 24/7.. those people are in the minority. most tenants DO work DO pay income tax,and have better behaved families than those our present government members obviously came from. they’ve not been taught morals, compassion or a lot of other needed things in this day n age. and of those who don’t work a vast majority are genuinely ill ,disabled or both. a lot are desperate to find work. and cant.for every job that they could do 100s of other applicants are there too.only 1 person can get that job.and lastly EVERYBODY pays some taxes. VAT. and taxes levied by our govt on cigarettes/tobacco/cigars/beer/wine/spirits/and a host of other commodities, a lot that are not luxuries but essentials. then there’s the bedroom tax. and council tax.everyone pays some or all of the latter. social housing tenants get more taken off them than any who have been lucky enough in life to get near the end of it owning their own house. not everyone has had the opportunity to do that. whilst i agree that we have earned our pensions (yes i am a pensioner too but i live in social housing..not through any fault of my own i might add.) please don’t think we and other tenants don’t contribute to the economy.everyone does to some extent.

  6. Joe what i said was not aimed at you. but what jenw17 said..

    quote..You only seem to be talking about tenants. Most pensioners own their own houses and contribute taxes, etc. unquote.

    that to me seemed to say only home owners paid taxes.maybe i read it wrong but that’s how it came across to me.

Please leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s