Collection

Benefit expenditure and caseload tables

Historic and forecast benefit expenditure and caseload data for people receiving benefits, consistent with the annual Budget and Autumn Statements.

This collection contains historic and forecast benefit expenditure and caseload data for people receiving benefits, consistent with the annual Budget and Autumn Statements.

Historic figures have been collated from departmental reports and accounts of DWP and its predecessor departments, and make use of statistical data collected from DWP’s benefit administration systems where necessary to provide further dis-aggregation. Historic expenditure figures may differ from those published in the accounts due to differing definitions and the inclusion of data that has become available since. Historic caseload data also comes from statistical reports, although may differ from published figures because these tables provide estimates for financial years, rather than point-in-time figures. Some historical information may differ from that previously published on these pages where:

  • new information has become available
  • methods for estimating expenditure have been improved.

Forecasts published here are consistent with the latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook (EFO) for Autumn Statement or Budget, available in the core publications on the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) website, unless specified otherwise. They are produced under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). They reflect the Government’s delivery plans, and the OBR’s additional judgements as set out in their Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

From 2013, a ‘welfare spending’ table containing benefit and tax credit expenditure for DWP, HM Revenue and Customs and predecessors is included, covering Great Britain.

The government has introduced a cap on certain items of welfare spending, excluding State Pensions and the most cyclical elements of welfare. The government formally defined and initially set the cap in Budget 2014. It applies to spending from the financial year 2015/2016 until the end of the forecast period. Welfare cap forecasts are included from 2014 publications onwards, but only cover the elements of welfare spending covered by DWP and HMRC. Other spending within the welfare cap is detailed in the OBR’s Economic and Fiscal outlook.

Forecast contents

Forecasts use a number of techniques appropriate to the particular benefits, taking into account demographic, economic, social and policy factors.

Tables include:

  • benefit expenditure in nominal and real terms, historically (from 1948) and forecast (for both what was paid and consistent with current DWP coverage), including the following dimensions
    • benefit
    • broad age group (children, working age and pensioners)
    • contributory status
    • type of claimant (incapacity benefits, lone parents, unemployed etc) for income-related benefits
    • funding stream
    • child elements and housing costs such as mortgage interest;
  • benefit caseloads tables, for most benefits from 1979, and forecast
  • a ‘welfare spending’ table in nominal and real terms, from 1978/79 and forecast containing benefit and tax credit expenditure for DWP, HM Revenue and Customs and predecessors
  • long term projections of pensioner benefits for next 50 plus years
  • expenditure by geographical breakdown
    • benefit expenditure by region, including payments made overseas (where available for most benefits from 1996/97)
    • benefit expenditure by local authority (where available for most benefits from 2000/01)
    • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit expenditure from 1996/97 by local authority (including by region, tenure and age)
    • benefit expenditure by parliamentary constituency (where available for most benefits from 2000/01)
    • State Pension expenditure by country of residence from 1995/96
    • Winter Fuel Payments by EEA country from 2002
  • expenditure by medical condition
    • Disability Living Allowance expenditure from 1992/93 by reported medical condition and rate paid.
    • Employment and Support Allowance expenditure from 2010/11 by reported medical condition and phase of claim

While every effort has been made to ensure as consistent a series as possible, please take care in interpreting all figures as expenditure in certain areas has transferred between government departments. It has not always been possible to identify the impact such transfers have had on expenditure.

Updates to sub-national tables rely on the availability of published caseloads and accounts information. These tables will next be updated to include financial year 2014/15 spending on the later of:

  • OBR’s public sector finance release date in September 2015
  • the first public sector finance release date following the publication of the DWP accounts financial year 2014/15.

Contacts and more information

There is contact information and more about DWP statistics on the Statistics at DWP page.

Benefit expenditure and caseload tables from 2010

Find benefit expenditure and caseload tables before 2010 on the National Archives.

  1. Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2014

    • 9 February 2015
    • Statistics
  2. Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2013

    • 23 September 2014
    • Statistics
  3. Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2012

    • 31 December 2012
    • Statistics
  4. Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2011

    • 31 December 2011
    • Statistics
  5. Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2010

    • 31 December 2010
    • Statistics