‘In 2010 alone, payments to working age families cost £75 billion. That means about one in every seven pounds of tax that working people like you pay was going on working age benefits.’
But the Treasury version reads:
‘In 2010 alone, payments to working age families cost £90 billion. That means about one in every six pounds of tax that working people like you pay was going on working age benefits.’
Osborne actually delivered the Treasury version, and that does seem to be the more accurate one. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ Green Budget, spending on working-age benefits and tax credits — in 2012-13 prices — totalled £98 billion in 2009-10 and £100 billion in 2010-11. In cash terms, that works out at £92 billion and £97 billion respectively.
And according to the Treasury’s figures, public sector current receipts were £513 billion in 2009-10, meaning that about £1 in every £5.50 was spent on working-age benefits. In 2010-11, receipts were £551 billion, so it was £1 in every £5.70. If you look at just tax and national insurance receipts, working-age benefit spending works out at more like £1 in every £5.30.
It seems CCHQ sent out the text as it appeared before Osborne’s fact-checkers got to work.
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