Wide range of benefits considered for cuts

THE Government's planned clampdown on benefits for single mothers is part of a wide-ranging review of spending on social security benefits, expected to cost pounds 78bn this year.

All benefits are under the microscope as Mr Lilley is under pressure to make cuts to help reduce the growing public spending borrowing requirement, which is due to be pounds 50bn this year. Other benefits being considered for cuts in the short or longer term include:

The retirement pension paid to 10 million at a cost of pounds 26.8bn;

Income Support paid to 5.3 million people at a cost of pounds 14.4bn;

Housing benefits paid to 11 million people at a cost of pounds 8.8bn;

Invalidity benefit paid to 1.5 million people at a cost of pounds 6.1bn;

Child benefit paid to 6.9 million parents with 12.5 million children - cost: pounds 5.7bn;

Disability living and working allowances paid to 940,000 people at a cost of pounds 1.9bn;

Severe disablement allowance paid to 320,000 at a cost of pounds 652m;

One-parent benefit paid to 895,000 people at a cost of pounds 277m;

Sickness benefit paid to 135,000 at a cost of pounds 315m.

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