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Unemployment benefits down £200m

(London) Payments for jobless-related benefits are £200 million lower than expected because of the fall in unemployment in recent years, according to new figures.

A government analysis of Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts showed that in March 2011 it was predicted that the number of jobseeker’s allowance claimants would be about 1.35 million this year, but the actual figure is 200,000 less.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “We’ve seen more people move off benefits than even the experts predicted – with the number of additional people starting a new life off jobseeker’s allowance filling Wembley twice over.

“Our jobcentre advisers up and down the country are working with claimants to ensure that they have the skills and opportunities to get into work, and plan for a more secure future in their community.”

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