Friday, March 02, 2012

UK reforms to reduce benefit fraud

With respect to welfare, New Zealand appears to be following wherever the UK goes at the moment. The government has promised legislation that will deal with benefit fraud this term.

 "A second Bill containing an overhaul of benefit categories and a clamp down on fraud will be introduced in July."

Currently people who commit benefit fraud but are still in the community can simply stay on the benefit albeit with repayments (of fraudulently acquired sums) deducted. So it is interesting to see what Britain is doing:

New powers in the Welfare Reform Bill will introduce tougher penalties to deter fraudsters:
  • Abolishing the option of accepting a caution
  • A minimum administrative penalty of £350, or 50% of the overpayment, whichever is higher, with four weeks loss of benefit, even for attempted fraud
  • Extended loss of benefit for offences, which result in a conviction, of 13 weeks for a first offence, then 26 weeks for a second offence and 3 years for a third offence
  • An immediate 3 year loss of benefit for serious or organised benefit fraud or identity fraud
  • A new £50 civil penalty in cases of claimant error which results in an overpayment due to negligence or failure


Viking said...

Looks like a good way to go.
Add to that real identity matching and matching between systems like IRD etc and progress wil get made.
Add in DNA or such and we are really onto it.
Take away free student loans (fraud upon the taxpayer) and we will soon be able to afford to live again.

Anonymous said...

Take away free student loans

Don't just stop there: Dole DBP sicko and of course the super, the "Codger Dole"

stop the lot.

Time to "finish the job" Ruth started!