A new version of the Benefit Expenditure Tables has been released, including information about Child Benefit and Tax Credits, which for the last few years have been treated as a matter for HMRC. The nominal cost of all benefit expenditure for 2012/13 was £201.9 billion, of which £107.7 billion (53%) goes on pensioners.
There has been a couple of weeks delay while the presentation of figures were being rejigged after the Budget, but it doesn’t look as if they’ve been done too carefully. For example, the series for Child Benefit in table 1 stops in 2002/03 and hasn’t been resumed despite the inclusion of all the data needed for it in a different table. And there is no obvious reason why the nominal outturns on costs for older people in the “Summary Table: GB Benefits and Tax Credits” should be lower than the cost for DWP benefits alone in the “Benefit Summary Table”.