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Benefit fraud is very much larger than we’ve been led to think

More than 140,000 EU citizens in the UK may have received benefits they were not entitled to due to a Home Office error, it has emerged.


17 thoughts on “Benefit fraud is very much larger than we’ve been led to think”

  1. If they have come from another country and lived here receiving benefits, then the Home Office error was letting them come here in the first place.

  2. That ‘we’ again. No, some of ‘we’ have known benefit fraud is much higher than admitted, because all benefit is fraud. ‘Benefit’ that is a cost is a misnomer.

    It is legitimised extortion of monies from one to be used for the purposes of another. That is fraud – also it is greed.

    Making it ‘legal’ is no justification. Lots of things have been legal, like torture, persecution for religious or political beliefs , but that does not justify them, nor does ‘they were necessary’.

  3. I like reading Guardian articles on the web. Because they always tell me how many articles I have read and ask ‘for a small favour’.

    I decline. I hope somewhere a record is kept of the number of times I have declined.

  4. Members of the public are advised to keep their belongings with them at all times. Thieves are operating in this area.

    Caution. This vehicle is turning left. Caution. This vehicle is turning left.

    These admonitions are wasted on platforms and roads. They should be on the PA in Whitehall and Westminster.

  5. @Sam Vara

    If you read the article, you’ll see that the people affected were EU citizens applying to remain after Brexit. As such, they had the right to enter when they came here, so there was no error in admitting them.

    @Allthegoodnamesaretaken – “Fraud or government incompetence?”

    Probably much more incompetence. The benfits system is rather complicated, so it is reasonable for most people to rely on being given the right benefits. Especially with modern computerised systems, this type of situation – where eligibility depended on a government decision – should be considered the fault of the authorities for not passing known information to where it was needed. It’s not like claimants pretending to have no job or to have extra children ro suchlike which are facts external to government systems.

  6. EU citizens? F**kin beyond me. I am resident in a EU nation. To get my residence I had to prove I had sufficient income & money to live here. So why does the UK not require the same conditions for EU nationals want to live there? Then there’d be no reason to pay them benefits.

  7. Given Brown was responsible for the development a benefits system that was so complicated it required having to estimate the benefits and true-up later (not surprisingly the IT implementation was a mess) then how is anyone to know if they are being overpaid or that there are lots of loopholes for the unscrupulous to take advantage.
    Knew someone who worked in benefits many years ago and they always said the innocent mistakes were easy to target and haul over the coals for fraud so it was the hardened scammers often got away with it for a while.

  8. The error rate is about 2% of adult EU citizens resident in the UK [interesting to learn that the Grauniad doesn’t include over-65s in its figure for adults] so no more incompetent than most bureaucratic actions.
    Also note the “may have” – similar weasel to the “up to 50% off” adverts. There’s been a failure to put the correct tag on 140k files but no count of how many of these Europeans actually claimed a single new penny in benefits.
    Pretty much of a “slow news day” story

  9. “Benefit Fraud Is Very Much Larger Than We’ve Been Led To Think”

    That would probably have been a valid headline throughout my life.

  10. @ dearieme
    Good point. The comments one gets from workers living in the poorer areas of town or council estates are very very different from the platitudes spoken by politicians and bureaucrats – andthe former generally resent benefit scroungers.

  11. I wonder how many home-working civil servants don’t come into the office because they no longer live where they say they do.
    I mean a subsidised house inside the M25 and/or a London weighting for your job is a benefit that has a value – you might as well move in with your parents in cheaper Wakefield or Merthyr, work from there and sub-let.

  12. Fraud involving 140k EU citizens. That’s before we even get started on the one point three million victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire.

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