Benefit fraud slashed by a quarter

Newly
released figures show that benefit fraud and error has been slashed by nearly a
quarter since 1998, saving taxpayers £240m.

The
National Statistics show benefit fraud and error in the main two benefits –
Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance – has been reduced by 24 per cent.

The
£240m saved is the equivalent of:


3,478 doctors, or


7,742 nurses, or


7,667 teachers, or


5,491 police officers

Anti-fraud
Minister Malcolm Wicks welcomed the news: "I’m delighted that our efforts
to cut benefit fraud and error are paying off," he said. But the annual
benefit fraud and error figure of £1.14bn is still far too much to be
losing."

"We
have reorganised the way our staff tackle benefit fraud, providing a more
professional and intelligence-driven fraud investigation service.

"Supporting
this, we are tightening the gateways to fraud and have taken on a range of new
powers that make it easier for us to detect and punish benefit fraud by
individuals, organised gangs and collusive employers."

By Quentin Reade

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