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7 Oct 2013

Real time tax checks to detect benefit fraud

The Government is planning to use jobseekers' tax records to see if they are fraudulently working while claiming benefits. (h/t James Bartholomew)

Ministers are exploring how benefits and the new PAYE tax systems are used together instead of relying on outdated data or information from claimants.

Millions of pounds could be saved in reduced fraud, error and administration costs, said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said:
This would save taxpayers money by reducing fraud and error, and it's a more efficient way of administering DWP benefits for the claimant, employers, providers and the government. Our experience from the early roll-out of Universal Credit has shown the advantages of using real-time information to support the payment of benefits. That's why we want to look at extending its use more widely across the benefits system.
The high volumes of benefit fraud can only be tackled by using IT. (Fraudsters had better stick to the cash economy then.) But look out!

Checks of traffic using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) can detect numbers of offenders which quickly overwhelm resources.

The same could happen with benefit fraud.

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