Queen’s Speech: phone lie detectors to be used to stop benefit cheats

Telephone lie detectors will be used to stop benefit cheats as part of the government’s welfare crackdowns in today’s Queen’s Speech.

A summary of the speech released by the Cabinet Office revealed that ‘voice risk analysis’ technology would be used to discover claimants giving false information.

Already, 25 local councils administering housing benefit to half a million claimants use the system, with Harrow Borough Council estimating it saved £300,000 in three months by rejecting fraudulent claims.

This is the same technology that experts previously told Personnel Today could be used by employers to detect when workers are falsely phoning in sick. It works by picking up changes in a caller’s voice and making thousands of calculations before telling the phone operator what to say to encourage the caller to withdraw their claim.

The government is keen to reduce the number of people relying on benefits in 2009 through the Welfare Reform Bill. Further details are expected in the Queen’s Speech later today.

Prime minister Gordon Brown said: “As government takes action, we expect people to play their part in return, with clear consequences for those who do not. In a fair society, that is what people would expect.

“In Britain, we have always believed there can never be one rule for some, and another rule for others. Rules must apply to individuals, communities and businesses alike.”

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