HC Deb 27 March 1986 vol 94 c575W
Mr. Frank Field

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list (a) the size of the total social security budget in 1979 and at the latest available date and (b) to what extent this increase can be accounted for by (i) an increase in real expenditure and (ii) a rise in unemployment.

Mr. Newton

Total expenditure on social security benefits was £15,870 million in 1978–79 and is estimated to be £40,930 million in 1985–86. Of this increase of about £25 billion, some £14 billion is the effect of inflation proofing. Of the remainder, about £5.5 billion reflects real increases in the average amounts of benefit paid, and about £3.75 billion is due to increased numbers of unemployed people receiving benefit.