Opposition attacks Work and Pensions for hike in adspend

Opposition parties have attacked the Department of Work and Pensions for raising its adspend from £5 million to more than £40 million a year.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats have questioned the effectiveness of the record spend on promoting the take-up of benefits - including an £11 million campaign on Pension Credit, a scheme criticised on Tuesday in the report by the Pensions Commission.

In a series of Commons written answers, ministers disclosed that the DWP's ad budget rose from £5 million in 2002-03 to £40.8 million in the financial year which ended in March.

Steve Webb, the pensions spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: "It is part of the structure of benefits that they have high non-take-up rates. Another ad campaign or another leaflet won't solve the problem."