- Jobseeker’s Allowance up 20 per cent from £59.15 a week in 2007/08 to £71
- In the same five-year period wages only rose by 12 per cent
- Iana Duncan Smith said the system is not fair on workers
Welfare handouts to those languishing on the dole have risen almost twice as fast as average wages over the past five years.
Out-of-work benefits have jumped in value by an astonishing 20 per cent since 2007 while wages have crept up by just 12 per cent, official figures released last night reveal.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the figures proved that automatically increasing benefits by the rate of inflation, as has previously been the case, was ‘not fair’ on working people whose taxes fund the handouts.
No work pays off: Jobseeker’s Allowance has risen by 20 per cent, from £59.15 a week in 2007 to £71
Ministers are now battling to reform the system and impose a 1 per cent cap on out-of-work benefit increases for the next three years, but face opposition from Labour.
Mr Duncan Smith said yesterday: ‘Working people across the country have been tightening their belts after years of pay restraint while at the same time watching benefits increase. That is not fair.
‘The welfare state under Labour effectively trapped thousands of families into dependency as it made no sense to give up the certainty of a benefit payment in order to go back to work.’