Benefit fraud

Benefit fraud has reached record levels after it rose by £200 million in the space of a year, the Department of Work and Pensions has admitted.

Fraud swallowed up almost £2.1 billion of the department’s total budget of £174 billion – the equivalent of £40 million per week.

That is interesting, isn’t it? Over 2%. When wages fraud, as we found yesterday, is 0.4%.

15 thoughts on “Benefit fraud”

  1. The Unused Testicle

    it’s very difficult to measure what isn’t there.

    The “missing” wages must be just a made up figure. Like when Diabetes UK regularly tells us “There are 2 million undiagnosed diabetics in the UK”.

    Is it a statistical analysis or just a wild guess?

  2. Let’s be fair – one form of wages fraud.

    Hell, my company’s generous expenses policy would probably be considered “fraud” by the likes of Ritchie. Especially as it was HMRC approved until they stopped doing that a couple of years ago.

  3. Hmm, yes, well caught. It was, of course, let for the readers to check, to see if they were paying attention /Ritchie switch off.

  4. I’ve lost track. Is this like for like? I mean the wages figures are for sums employers diddle from employees, yes? Whereas the benefit figures are for sums recipients diddle from the taxpayer/state.

  5. The level of fraud is significantly under-reported because the DWP has limited resources to investigate and prosecute it. Additionally an undetermined amount is salted away in remittances to other countries so the true picture is one that is far worse than the figures suggest. Of course you could say the exact same (and no doubt the concern trolls you saw on the Guardian boards yesterday would) about ‘wages fraud’.

    I worked at a leading Internet retailer a few years back and a not insignificant part of my day job was trying to work with payroll to resolve numerous queries that a complex and convoluted incentive scheme drawn up by HR created. Of course what the Corbynites want is a return to the 70s where Labour was able to go to sleep on the job and guaranteed employment insulated from any competition or indeed any interaction with the real world. Surely there has to be a happy medium between the two extremes….

  6. “The level of fraud is significantly under-reported because the DWP has limited resources to investigate and prosecute it.”


    Heard just yesterday about a case in a distant part of the family (or rather regarding the relatives of someone married to one of my relatives).Old lady inherits £60k from death of a sibling, is on all sorts of benefits and social care. Her daughters who have been caring for her (and managing her money) don’t tell the social about this lump of capital, and salt it away somewhere (or spend it) themselves. When the son comes to deal with the estate when she dies, realises this £60k is gone, nowhere to be seen. This will never be part of the stats, as no-one even knows a fraud took place.

  7. SE, thanks, yes i got that … I suppose I wondered whether a wider point also was being made about, for example, the relative efficiency of public/private provision of income.

  8. Benefit fraud: £2.1bn
    Wages fraud: £3bn

    On the face of it, your point is weaker. You merely cherry-picked your denominator to make the percentages, in order to boost your case.

  9. When, as a student on a summer job, I worked for the saintly Co-op, I was often robbed of my pay, both by customers saying they’d already paid their milk bill (which I had to make good) and the relief colleague pocketing a share of the takings, and also passing off breakages on to me.

    So it isn’t always the Tory employer …

  10. @Tim Worstall,

    MSM often reports Mr/Mrs X convicted of £50,000 benefit fraud over last ten years.

    Almost as frequent are: Mr Fuzziski WuzzyRoP and his gang convicted of £2.6 Million DWP & Housing Benefit fraud in last two years.

    Immigrants are enriching – themselves.

    Similar with NHS Dental fraud – invariably Mr Fuzziski WuzzyRoP

  11. It helps the RoPers that they all have long names and look the same.

    You can sign on multiple times and no one wants to question it. Recycle the money into local property and become a millionaire.

    Your son then grows up with a playboy lifestyle and gets himself into drug dealing and launders the money into the property empire.

    All then legit until he gets himself shot while in possession of a firearm (after previous for firearms offences).

  12. In the welfare of nations, an indepth US study found all most 100 percent fraud among single mums, I don’t think any similar study has been performed in the UK.

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