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Welfare reforms save less than expected

The Office for Budget Responsibility have published their Welfare Trends report stating that:

"Straightforward cuts in the generosity of benefits and tax credits are proving more reliable ways to cut the welfare budget than complex structural reforms to incapacity and disability benefits." 


The report looks in detail at social security and tax credits spending and examines the drivers of welfare spending, including both those elements inside and outside the cap.

To read the report visit:


Dr Simon Duffy, Director for the Centre for Welfare Reform, responded to the report's publication saying:

"Since 2010 the British Government has chosen to target cuts on disabled people and people in poverty. Many of these cuts have been through reduction in benefits. This is an extraordinarily unfair and vicious measure. The UK is already the most unequal country in Western Europe and these changes only increase inequality further.

"The OBR's report highlights what many of us have observed previously. Most of the really deep cuts have been made by ending the commitment to ensure the value of benefits grows with prices or the economy in general - ensuring the poor become even poorer every year.

"At the same time the Government's efforts to cut spending through so-called 'welfare reforms' to incapacity benefit, DLA or other benefits have had more uncertain financial outcomes and often do not lead to any significant savings. However, what these changes have caused is increased distress for many, increased rates of suicide and mental health breakdown.

"The Government has already been informed by the United Nations that its austerity measures breach the human rights of UK citizens. This report demonstrates that many of these reforms are also not even effective in terms of their own means-spirited objectives."

OBR Welfare Trends report