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Social Security Benefits

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of expected (a) on-flows, (b) off-flows and (c) stock claimant numbers for (i) incapacity benefit (credits only), (ii) incapacity benefit (benefits) (iii) severe disablement allowance, (iv) income support and (v) jobseeker’s allowance in each year to 2019-20. (163511)

The available information is in the tables.

The figures provided are projections that are made as part of the normal process of assessing long-term public finances. As part of this, projections for jobseeker’s allowance make use of the Treasury’s unemployment assumption.

The figures provided in the tables are in line with the cautious and prudent approach to making fiscal projections, where the impact of existing and proposed policies is taken into account once there is robust evidence of their effect, but the impact of new or planned policies is not considered where the evidence is more limited. For example, the incapacity benefits figures include estimates of the impact of the roll-out of Pathways to Work but not the introduction of Employment and Support Allowance.

The figures are not therefore an assessment of the aims or effect of Government strategy in the benefit and employment field.

Projected numbers of working-age claimants of incapacity benefit credits only—Great Britain 2006-07 to 2019-20

thousand

Claimants

Flows-on

Flows-off

2006-07

987

285

284

2007-08

997

286

280

2008-09

990

271

283

2009-10

974

262

276

2010-11

974

269

259

2011-12

979

270

259

2012-13

983

271

260

2013-14

987

272

260

2014-15

993

273

260

2015-16

998

274

261

2016-17

1,005

274

261

2017-18

1,011

275

261

2018-19

1,019

275

260

2019-20

1,026

276

262

Projected numbers of working-age claimants in receipt of incapacity benefit—Great Britain 2006-07 to 2019-20

thousand

Claimants

Flows -on

Flows-off

2006-07

1,456

311

357

2007-08

1,408

312

356

2008-09

1,348

297

358

2009-10

1,284

288

347

2010-11

1,261

304

309

2011-12

1,246

308

319

2012-13

1,224

310

316

2013-14

1,213

314

311

2014-15

1,207

317

309

2015-16

1,204

321

309

2016-17

1,207

325

309

2017-18

1,212

330

311

2018-19

1,221

334

312

2019-20

1,230

338

314

Projected numbers of claimants (both working-age and pension-age) of severe disablement allowance—Great Britain 2006-07 to 2019-20

thousand

Claimants

Flows-off

2006-07

276

18

2007-08

258

14

2008-09

244

13

2009-10

231

12

2010-11

219

12

2011-12

208

10

2012-13

198

11

2013-14

188

9

2014-15

178

10

2015-16

169

8

2016-17

160

9

2017-18

152

8

2018-19

144

8

2019-20

136

8

Notes:

1. Figures are based on published Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 estimates.

2. Figures do not take into account new or planned policies.

3. Figures are projections and are therefore subject to revisions.

4. Figures include estimates of the impact of equalisation of state pension age on incapacity benefit.

5. New flows onto severe disablement allowance ceased from April 2001.

6. Figures for severe disablement allowance include working-age and pensioner claimants.

7. The balance between flows-on and flows-off will not reconcile to year-on-year changes. This is due to the within-year averaging applied to claimant projections.

Projected numbers of claimants of income support—Great Britain 2006-07 to 2019-20

thousand

Caseload

Flows-on

Flows-off

2007-08

2,128

625

640

2008-09

2,099

608

626

2009-10

2,064

608

624

2010-11

2,051

618

622

2011-12

2,060

623

626

2012-13

2,080

626

627

2013-14

2,092

629

626

2014-15

2,099

633

626

2015-16

2,110

637

626

2016-17

2,124

641

627

2017-18

2,144

645

627

2018-19

2,163

649

627

2019-20

2,188

654

628

Notes:

1. Figures are based on published Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 estimates.

2. Figures do not take into account new or planned policies.

3. Figures are projections and are therefore subject to revisions.

4. Figures include estimates of the impact of equalisation of state pension age on income support.

5. The balance between flows-on and flows-off will not reconcile to year-on-year changes. This is due to the within-year averaging applied to claimant projections.

6. The figures for income support will include the majority of the projections for incapacity benefit credits-only.

NAO-audited assumption of the numbers on jobseeker’s allowance

thousand

2007-08

842

2008-09

871

2009-10

894

2010-11

896

2011-12

896

Notes:

1. These figures relate to Great Britain, and are consistent with the assumption for the UK.

2. The assumption on the future claimant count is the average of a number of forecasts, all of which are made by non-Governmental organisations. When these forecasters predict that the claimant count will increase (as here), it follows that the assumption will reflect that increase. Were these forecasters to predict a decrease in the claimant count, then the assumption would remain constant at its current level for all future years.

3. These figures are audited by the National Audit Office.

4. Since very few of the external forecasters predict the claimant count beyond 2011-12, the assumption ends in that year.

5. The claimant count in 2011-12 is equivalent to 2.9 per cent. of the economically active population of working age, based on the calculations underpinning the Long-Term Public Finance Report. Projections for 2012-13 onwards assume that this rate will be constant.