15 August 2018
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, has today published the 2017 Social Security Annual Report.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the activities, improvements and initiatives carried out by the Social Security department last year. It also explains the legislative changes under the responsibility of the department, and gives detailed statistical information about contributory benefits, such as pensions, and tax-funded benefits including Income Support.
There is a wealth of information in the report. For example, the report shows the steady increase in the number of people claiming an old age pension as the impact of improved life expectancy is starting to make a real impact. In 2017 over 31,000 people received pensions compared to 29,000 in 2013 with the total cost of pensions rising 16% in the last five years.
Over the same period the economy has improved; this is reflected across a range of departmental statistics:
- Social Security contributions stood at an all-time high of £213 million with an average of 54,000 people paying into the Fund each month
- the number of people looking for work fell to an 8 year low at the end of 2017, with just 950 registered as actively seeking work
- with the improvement in job opportunities, the number of families claiming income support has also fallen since 2013 with 5,763 households claiming the benefit at the end of 2017
The new Long Term Care Benefit continues to expand, with 1,335 claimants at the end of 2017. A new benefit scheme, Pension Plus was launched at the start of 2017 with 5,777 claims made in the first year. This new scheme supports lower income pensioners with the cost of dental, optical and chiropodist costs. A separate new scheme to provide flu vaccines to pensioners and other target groups was also successfully introduced in Autumn 2017.
Deputy Martin commented “As the new Social Security Minister I have been very impressed by the range of activities undertaken by the Social Security Department. This comprehensive report gives details across all these areas.”
Social Security Annual Report 2017