The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 December 2006:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what his most recent estimate is of the average per capita government expenditure on each income decile group. (105731)
Estimates of cash benefits and benefits in kind received by households are provided in the ONS analysis “The effects of taxes and benefits on household income”. The latest analysis for 2004/05 was published on the National Statistics website on 12th May 2006 at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/taxesbenefits. The analysis is based on data from the Expenditure and Food Survey, which is a sample survey covering approximately 7,000 households in the UK. Through measuring household receipts of benefits, this analysis shows how government expenditure on cash benefits and benefits in kind are allocated to different types of households, and in particular households in different income decile groups.
The results in the article are presented for households rather than on a per capita basis. However, the table below shows average per capita receipts of cash benefits and benefits in kind within each household decile group. They show that the average ranges from £5,309 per person, per year in the bottom income decile, to £2,171 in the top decile. A more detailed breakdown by different types of benefit appears in the article (although presented as household averages, rather than per capita).
Cash benefits include things like Income Support, Child Benefit, Incapacity Benefit, and the state Retirement Pension. The estimates of benefits in kind reflect the value of education and health services provided by the state to households, and also include housing and travel subsidies. Together these items constitute approximately 55 per cent of total government expenditure. They are the parts of government expenditure which can be directly allocated to households. Other types of expenditure such as on defence cannot be allocated except on the assumption that all households benefit equally.
£ per year Decile groups1 Total cash benefits Total benefits in kind Total benefits Bottom 2,402 2,907 5,309 Second 3,063 2,631 5,694 Third 2,908 2,710 5,618 Fourth 2,558 2,378 4,936 Fifth 1,980 2,219 4,199 Sixth 1,832 2,113 3,945 Seventh 1,347 1,870 3,217 Eighth 928 1,746 2,675 Ninth 606 1,623 2,230 Top 570 1,601 2,171 All households 1,808 2,171 3,979 1 All households ranked by equivalised disposable income
£ per year
Total cash benefits
Total benefits in kind
1 All households ranked by equivalised disposable income