Tax Credits and Benefits in Numbers

If you receive benefits or tax credits, you’re not alone. Millions of people across the UK rely on these important state benefits every year. Whether it’s Jobseekers Allowance if you’re out of work, pension credits, income support, incapacity benefit or tax credits, these payments help many families with their day to day bills.

Twice a year, the government produces information on the number of people claiming various benefits in the UK. So, here’s a guide to tax credits and benefits in numbers.

Benefits in numbers

The latest bi-annual National Statistics on benefit claimants produced by the Department for Work and Pensions were released on 14 November 2012.

5.9 million – number of working age benefit claimants in February 2012
£3.1 billion – Amount of housing benefit that Brits failed to claim in 2009/10
2.62 million – Pension Credit claimants in February 2012
1.6 million – Number of people who failed to claim the Pension Credit they were entitled to in 2009/10
£3 billion – amount of tax credits paid every year to people who are wealthier than average
£230 billion – estimated total UK welfare bill in 2016
584,000 – The number of lone parents claiming Income Support in February 2012
£1.95 billion – Amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance that Brits failed to claim in 2009/10
5.05 million – Number of people claiming Housing Benefit in February 2012
£26,000 – planned household benefit cap
21,000 – the fall in the number of working age claimants of ESA and incapacity benefits in the year to February 2012
32.4% – the percentage of total government spending that will go on welfare by 2016
32% – the percentage of all benefits paid in 2011 that went to people who are wealthier than average
£57.6 billion – the amount paid out each year in Basic State pensions

The top 10 biggest benefits/tax credits

While many people that believe the welfare system is simply designed to help people who are out of work, the truth is that Jobseeker’s Allowance and other well known benefits form a relatively small part of the overall welfare budget.

The top 10 benefits and tax credits in the UK, by total size of the bill, are:

1. Basic State pension

2. Housing and Council Tax benefits

3. Tax credits

4. DLA and Attendance allowance

5. State second pension

6. Child benefit

7. Incapacity benefits

8. Pension credit

9. Income support

10. Jobseekers allowance

(source, Daily Telegraph)

So, do you think the tax credits and benefits system needs reform? Share your views on these figures below.

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