25 Nov 2011

From the benefit fraud front line

Earlier this month I put up a short post about East European people trafficking and benefit fraud.

It's attracted this comment from a visitor:
As a former Benefit Fraud Investigator, I can categorically state that this case is JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG!

When someone...anyone... in this or any other elected Government gets to realise the FULL extent of the carefully construed frauds against our benefit system; all hell will break loose.

It's okay them all bleating about "benefit fraud's taken very seriously". I was on the front line and can categorically state... NO IT IS NOT!

With Managers 'terrified' of having to put their full weight behind POCA cases and Investigators being forced to take the 'easy' prosecution options, i.e. go for the pensioners... the 'real' criminals continue to get away with it.

Benefit Fraud stats/costs aren't real or true; so I'm afraid people, be prepared to be very afraid when and if someone bothers to get to grips with the catastrophic benefit fraud being perpetrated against us. Be very afraid indeed!
I don't know the anonymous visitor, so I can't verify this. But the comments echo others made in the past - click the label "from the front line" at the end of this post.

This blog agrees that the fraud numbers are understated in order to give the impression that the problem of benefit fraud is being contained. Resources for enforcement are woefully inadequate, the system for enforcement is clunky, and if benefit fraud was prosecuted energetically the judicial system would be overwhelmed.

And the few who are caught often get away with trivial sentences - click on the "light sentences" label at the end for some startling examples.

The issue of benefit fraud was important to voters whom Ed Miliband met recently. One reporter remarked that
Where Miliband was less comfortable was on discussing benefit fraud, something that clearly exercised an awful lot of the people in the room.
It's another of those issues important to voters which politicians prefer to brush under the carpet. So this campaigning blog will keep niggling away.

To those who are or who have been on the benefit front line: From time to time the blog is contacted by journalists or television programme makers. If you want to be put in touch when such requests come along, you can contact me through the website - see the link in the header.


Clive Arnold said...

Yeah right, typical Daily Mail bollox and you know it! You can't verify it because you made it up. Bigoted idiots like you are pretty pathetic

John Page said...

Anonymous said...

I pay Housing Benefit, and believe me I would pay a lot less if I could.

We tick a few boxes about fraud but it would be expensive to actually follow people around so undeclared private pensions are easier to detect than couples living together, cash in hand jobs, self employed, landlords actually partners, etc.

The Inland Revenue pay out tax credits without checking first. We used to be told that getting child tax credits was not acceptable proof that someone had a child, we had to ask for proof that child benefit was in payment.

Anonymous said...

I think people should be a little less judgmental I got caught for benefit fraud which I didn't even know I was committing my violent husband was staying with me 6 nights out of 7 whilst I was claiming housing benefits and council tax while dealing with domestic violence an undiagnosed Biolar and to top it off very little secondary education to understand the forms .My concern was to get my rent paid so I didn't lose my home not understanding the problems I was in by my husband being there as I was scared of him and now believe me I'm trying to rob peter to pay Paul to pay back what I unwittingly claimed so please don't be so judgemental I was very ill and in a very violent relationship so not every case is a cut and shut please be a little mindful of this when making your judgements.