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Government faces £1.67bn bill for benefits arrears

Benefits claimants will receive a £1.67bn windfall, owing to “historic underpayments” by the DWP. An average of £5,000 is owed to around 180,000 people who previously claimed Employment Support Allowance, the Department has revealed.

Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions select committee, said: “The government must learn the lessons from this appalling failure, as it faces the much bigger challenge of moving people onto universal credit.”

The DWP has had to create a dedicated team of over 400 staff to examine cases, and have paid back around £120m so far.

Source: Public Finance