Budget 2014: Welfare spending cap set at £119bn in 2015-16

Bath The welfare cap is expected to include spending on housing benefit

UK spending on welfare is to be capped at £119bn for 2015-2016, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The basic state pension and some unemployment benefits will be excluded from the cap.

The limit on total welfare spending will be set by the chancellor at the beginning of each parliament.

If the limit is breached, the chancellor will have to explain why, and a vote would be held in Parliament.

Labour has already said it will introduce a three-year cap on welfare spending if elected in 2015.

"Never again should we allow [welfare] costs to spiral out of control," Mr Osborne said.

In 2015, the government is expected to spend £113.1bn on welfare payments, rising to £117.9bn in 2016.

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