Steve Webb says "For example, take housing benefit. Cash spending on housing benefit at the start of this Parliament was around £22bn. And at the end of this Parliament it will be around £22bn.’
May 2010 4,751,530 claimants at average £84.20 reveals HB bill at end of May 2010 was £20.875bn.
The latest official figures record up to end of June 2011 and 4,901,390 claimants at average £87.37 becomes £22.345bn an increase of £1.469bn and rising at an average of £113m per calendar month / £3.77m per day.
July 2010 DWP nes release in HB Direct "Ministers are clear that the overall cost of HB forecast to be around £20 billion this financial year, must be controlled and reduced. Thepackage of reforms will save nearly £2bn by 2014/2015."
The DWP target therefore is an overall cost of £18bn by reducing '£20bn or so' by nearly £2bn 'or so.'
It is currently £22.345bn and that is £4.345bn above target.
It is increasing by on average £113m per month and so we can project that by the time the first reforms come into play in January 2012 it will be a further £791m higher giving an overall total cost of about £23.14bn or 'about' £5.14bn over target.
The 'only Lib Dem in the DWP' is being very misleading when he quotes the 'around £22bn figure' and given that he is a minister in the DWP he must known about and approved the news release from July 2010 above which sets out the £18bn target that he now claims was always £22bn - which interestingly is 22.222222% above that target.
Is Steve Webb leading us all with a merry dance in his tutu?