Osborne keeps on saying that the bill for tax credits has risen from £1.1 billion pounds in 1999 to £30bn today.
Of course he’s right . . . in a very, very narrow sense.
Apparently that £1.1bn relates to just three months in 1999, and just one type of tax credit.
Since then all sorts of other benefits have been absorbed into the tax credit system and as a proportion of government spending the cost of benefits for working age people and for children has apparently stayed pretty stable.