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.

View all 4 updates ›

Row over '20 per cent rise' in working age benefits

The row over welfare cuts hit a new low as the Tories and Labour traded figures ahead of a Commons vote on plans to impose a real-terms benefits cut.

Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, said the numbers showed "many working-age benefits" had risen by 20 per cent since 2007, outstripping a 12 per cent rise in private sector pay.

In defending the squeeze announced by Chancellor George Osborne last month, he said the increases cost the taxpayer £6.3 billion.

More top news