Benefits for working age claimants will be cut by almost a quarter if the Conservatives win the general election, according to the independent think-tank the Institute for Fiscal studies (IFS).
The IFS found that in spite of all the cuts to benefits already implemented by the Coalition, the total benefits bill is virtually unchanged at £220 billion. This is because the slashing of the working age benefits bill by £7 billion has been offset by increased costs for pensioners. The IFS did also find, however, that without the cuts the cost of benefits would have been £16.7 billion (7%) higher.
The IFS has forecast that £21 billion of welfare savings will need to be made in the next parliament in order for the Conservatives to meet their spending targets. As pensions are largely protected, this will mean a massive 23% cut in payments to working age people.
As yet, the Conservatives have given little indication of how cuts of such a huge magnitude will be achived.