Govt is seeking public support for cutting the welfare bill

The battle lines have been drawn as the Government tries to cut the welfare bill.

Today, both the Department for Work and Pensions and Labour were bandying around figures to try to prove that people were either getting a better deal on benefits, or in work.

It comes just days before a crucial vote aimed at capping working-age benefits by 1% over the next few years - that would amount to a cut in real terms.

The problem for the Government is that recent polls show they may not have the public on their side. Could that be why the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has published these figures?


Row over '20% rise' in benefits

Many "working-age benefits" have risen by 20% in the last five years, higher than the 12% rise in private sector pay, the Work and Pensions Secretary said. But Labour says Jobseeker's Allowance has risen by less than earnings over the past decade.