Welfare spending in Britain has risen 28 billion pounds ($43 billion) since Prime Minister David Cameron took office due to people living longer and increased spending on sickness and disability.
The government spent 251 billion pounds on welfare in the fiscal year ended March 2014, 37 percent of total government spending, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics Tuesday. That was up from 223 billion pounds, or 35 percent of total spending, in 2009-10. Pension spending rose 25 percent while the bill for sickness and disability benefits climbed 20 percent.
The figures come as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne prepares to set out details of 12 billion pounds of welfare savings in his summer budget on Wednesday. Media reports suggest he will announce cuts to housing subsidies and a reduction in the total amount of welfare a family can claim.
The ONS said increased spending on pensions was unsurprising given life expectancy in the U.K. is rising and state pensions are being claimed for longer.