The Government will have to spend £2bn more on benefits than it planned a year ago because of delays to two flagship projects, official documents have revealed.
Figures in the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts, published alongside the Autumn Statement, threaten to undermine George Osborne's much-heralded welfare cap, which is at the heart of his bid to slash state spending over the next five years. The figures reveal that processing delays have added to the welfare bill.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions minister, claimed the statistics were another example of what she called "Tory welfare waste".
The OBR's economic outlook reveals the Department for Work and Pensions will have to spend £1bn more on incapacity benefits this year than planned a year ago, because of delays to the process of assessing people for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and a further £1bn more on disability-benefit spending than planned because of delays to the roll-out of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).