Universal Credit will reduce Benefit fraud
It’s been recently reported that the proposed changes to benefits , which in future will be called Universal Credit will reduce fraud and error in the benefits system as it’s well known the existing system is far too complex and open to wide abuse, fraud and errors.
The latest figures on fraud amount to a whopping £1.2 Billion in a 12 month period and that for errors as a result of mistakes and the complexity of the existing system amounted to even more at over £2 Billion!
The government have targeted 1000 dedicated benefits staff to “cleanse” the benefit claims currently in the system in an attempt to make sure that those claims are accurate and fraud free in preparedness for the new Universal Credit system which is being brought in during 2013. It’s claimed that this “cleansing” has already brought savings of close to Half a billion pounds as fraudulent and erroneous claims are weeded out.
The “simpler” Universal Credit System has been heralded as a revolution in the way benefits are to be handled as currently many different benefit entitlements and “add-ons” with the inherent complexity makes is relatively easy for fraudulent claims to slip through the net. The new system will be easier to administer as many aspects of it will be automated and simpler to understand. The new system will be linked to the PAYE system and will highlight any irregular looking accounts such as when someone is claiming unemployment benefit but is earning income at the same time.
There will also be tougher penalties to deter fraudsters such as the 3 year loss of benefit for serious or organised benefit fraud, 4 weeks loss of benefit, even for attempted fraud and a £350 fine and a £50 fine for not filling in forms correctly resulting in wrong payments being made, so there will be no excuses anymore!