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Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 15 March 2010, Official Report, column 605, if she will estimate the savings in unemployment benefits and other benefits from unemployment being 650,000 lower in 2010 than the average predicted by independent forecasts; and if she will make a statement. (323436)

[holding answer 22 March 2010]: Between the Budget 2009 and the Budget 2010, the expected level of UK unemployment was reduced. By the end of 2009, the actual UK unemployment claimant count was already nearly 500,000 less than expected at the Budget 2009.

Unemployment is now expected to be 700,000 lower in 2010 than in the Budget 2009. The savings in benefits across 2010-11 to 2014-15 compared with what was assumed at Budget 2009 is around £14 billion. This includes spend relating to housing benefit and council tax benefit as well as jobseeker's allowance.