The benefits capital of Britain is revealed: New map shows which parts of the country guzzle the biggest chunks of UK’s £161 BILLION welfare bill.
This map reveals the areas which receive the biggest chunks of Britain’s £161billion welfare bill, with some guzzling six times more in handouts than other parts of the nation.
New figures show the benefits capital is Knowsley, in Merseyside, which received a total of £149.8million last year after pension payments were stripped out.
With a population of around 80,000 it means that, on average, every adult there gets an annual benefit top up of almost £1,900.
But at the opposite end of the scale, the safe Conservative constituency of North East Hampshire receives just £27.1million in benefits, at an average of just over £350 per head.
Of the ten English constituencies that pull in the most benefit cash six are in Merseyside, two are in Manchester and there is one each in Birmingham and Leeds. All of them are safe Labour seats.
The figures include Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance but do not include pensions, child benefit or housing benefit, which would push the total much higher.
In total the nation’s benefit bill was £161billion last year, up three percent in the last two years despite Government attempts to halt its rise.
In Wales the constituencies of Cardiff South and Penarth (£100.2m) and Merthyr Tydfil and Phymney (£97.1) got the largest handouts while in Scotland Glasgow East (£135.5m) and Glasgow North East (£131.8m) were the biggest gainers.
Most of the areas with the lowest levels of benefit claims were in the leafy suburbs of southern England.
TaxPayers’ Alliance spokesman Harry Davis said: ‘The welfare system has to be a safety net for people who have fallen on tough times, not a long-term alternative to employment
‘A system where being on benefits can actually pay more than being in work is counterproductive and requires urgent reform.
‘Our politicians need to do a lot more to remove complexity from the system which will not only help people break out of the benefits trap but also go a long way towards putting our public finances back on track.’
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: ‘Excluding pensions, expenditure on welfare has fallen over the last two years, and we have record numbers of people in work across the country.
‘Our reforms are bringing welfare spending under control, incentivising work, and ensuring we have a system which is fair to those who use it and those who pay for it.’
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