10 Nov 2014

Guardian takes benefit fraud numbers at face value

H/t to Dave for spotting this Guardian piece suggesting that genuine benefits claimants are being victimised because the public thinks benefit fraud is more prevalent than government figures show.

Many people leave and enter the benefits system every week, and there are huge numbers of benefits claimants. This puts officers under pressure to process claims quickly, and there are far too few investigation officers to scrutinise all the claims, let alone follow up all those that are questionable.

If government wanted to get a grip on the size of benefit fraud, they would do an exhaustive check of a local area and follow that through.

Why don't they? The public would be indignant against the government over the amount of fraud revealed, and the Opposition would attack them for incompetence.

So it's politically safer for the government to keep its head down and stick with its fictitious figures - despite a deficit of £100bn a year.

Welfare makes up a significant proportion of state spending. Can the government afford to ignore this opportunity for savings? Apparently yes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They have the Housing Benefit Review ever year when a random number of claimants are visited to see the info held is correct. But they are seeing if what the claimant tells them corresponds with the info held. There is no thorough investigation just box ticking.

Not sure about lots of people leaving benefits each week, many have been on I.S for years if not decades.