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Labour's Increased Benefits Bill

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There's been lots of discussion over the last few days on the size of the benefits bill, especially how it increased under Labour.

I know the overall amount seems huge. But I can't pin down who exactly the huge increases have gone to since Labour came to power.

Unemployment and incapacity benefit claimants are slightly lower than in 1997 and the rates these benefits are paid at have also got slighlty lower

I did notice a rise in DLA claims form 2.5 million to 3.2 million

But otherwise is it all down to things like Winter Fuel payments and free TV licences and bus passes?

Did state pensions even increase? I didn't think they did

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I had a look at this a few years back.

The data suggested tax credits were the most obvious addition to the bill, along with the general increase in the cost of administrating the service (so an increase in public sector jobs relating to the DWP etc).

I doubt housing costs are much to do with the rises. LHA is a relatively recent policy.

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I'm getting really confused now.

It seems there are a quarter of a million less lone parents claiming income support than in 1997.

And also a million less working age people in total claiming benefits than in 1997.

Labour are being blamed for the benefits culture. I've always gone along with this but my quick look at the figures is causing me some doubt now. Anyone know how to square these figures

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Unemployment and incapacity benefit claimants are slightly lower than in 1997 and the rates these benefits are paid at have also got slighlty lower.

When adjusted by the RPI? Most benefits are uprated by the Rossi Index (RPI less housing costs) which has tended to rise less than the RPI. Over recent years the real value of most benefits has been cut since the essentials of life, such as food, water, gas, and electricity, have risen much faster than the RPI. Benefits and pensions really need to be uprated by an Essentials Price Index (EPI).

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  • 260 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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