Welcome to this website about the scandal of benefit fraud.
Benefit fraud is rife in the UK. The government pretends
it costs us £1.2bn annually. But the real figure is probably
at least £5.5bn a year.
Government figures show there were 5.80m working age benefit claimants
at February 2009 - this
is 15.7% of the working age population!
The number of working age claimants of Employment and Support Allowance
(ESA) and incapacity benefits totalled 2.60m. 736,000 people were
claiming lone parent benefit.
In the year to February there were 422,000 new claims to working
age incapacity benefits, and 549,000 new claims for Income Support.
These huge numbers cannot be policed effectively for fraudulent
claims. They only emphasise the case for deterrent punishments for
those few who do get caught. Indeed, the DWP's boast is that they
have over 3,000 fraud investigators. How could they hope to police
millions of claims? They can't, of course.
We tell you how to report
a case of suspected benefit theft.
But the legal
process is cumbersome. And too often light
sentences do not reflect the crime, and offer no deterrent.
Prevention needs to be improved, to reduce fraudulent claims in
the first place. Deterrence needs to be improved, to discourage
people from trying. That means clear, simple rules and stiffer punishments.
Otherwise the system will continue to be overwhelmed. That makes
society less moral and it costs us money.
The national press only reports the worst cases. You can see other
cases on the benefit
fraud blog, based on reports from around Britain.