This House of Commons Library debate pack briefing has been prepared in advance of an Estimates Day debate on the spending of the Department for Work and Pensions. This will take place in the House of Commons Chamber on 26 February 2019.

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The subject for this debate was selected by the Backbench Business Committee.  The application to the Committee was a cross-party application made by Ruth George MP and Heidi Allen MP, members of the Work and Pensions Committee.

The Department for Work and Pensions is the biggest spending department of government, accounting for nearly a quarter of all public spending.   DWP has a currently approved budget for this year for benefits and pensions spending of £183,307 million, as set out in its 2018-19 Main Estimate.   DWP’s 2018-19 Supplementary Estimate proposes an increase to this amount of £974 million or 0.5%, to bring it to £184,281 million.

Major changes to the benefits system are currently underway as a result of a series of substantial reforms introduced by the Coalition Government, and further measures initiated by governments since 2015.  These include the introduction of Universal Credit – which is replacing working-age means-tested benefits and tax credits and will eventually be received by around 7 million households – and Personal Independence Payment, which is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people of working age.

Other documents and briefings relevant to the debate include:

  • Commons Debate Pack CDP-2019-0053
  • Authors: Andrew Mackley, Djuna Thurley, Roderick McInnes, Steven Kennedy
  • Topics: Benefits, Government

Download the full report