The government’s attempts to cut disability benefits spending by 20% with the introduction of personal independence payment (PIP) have been a dramatic failure, the Office for Budget responsibility’s Welfare trends report released today has found. Employment and support allowance cuts have also fallen far short of their targets.
The OBR estimates that the introduction of PIP reduced spending by just £0.1 billion in 2015-16 rather than the £1.4 billion that the planned 20% cut in spending would have achieved.
In part this is because the forced transfer of claimants from DLA to PIP is so far behind schedule. But the OBR estimates that even when completed, the change from DLA to PIP will result in only a 5% reduction in spending, rather than 20%.
The time limiting of contributory ESA for the work-related activity group was expected by the coalition to save £2.0 billion in 2015-16. In fact, it saved just £0.2 billion as the affected group was much smaller than anticipated.