In my original post on the topic I argued that given the DWP admit “It is only a small minority who commit fraud“ Freud 03/01/2014; so surely these campaigns, which given the fairly constant level of estimated fraud don’t work, seem to be a case of overkill? That is unless you take a slightly more cynical view of the whole situation – If the Government was truly concerned with fraud, wouldn’t a different, more efficiently way of managing it, have been designed by now; and, wouldn’t we have actual statistics, rather than than over 8 years of ’around £1 billion’ estimates??
I also discussed how much the DWP had spent on these campaigns over the past 3+ years, and how much the budget for this latest reinvention is; I’ve now received a reply to my FOI request :
Expenditure for campaigns Year Campaign Total amount
2010/11 Targeting Benefit Thieves £26,118
2011/12 Targeting Benefit Thieves £82, 605
2012/13 none Nil
2013/14 Benefits. Are you doing the right thing? £188,003 (forecast only)
So from the FOI we presume in the past 3 years the coalition have spent £296,726?
Well No! The February edition of Touchbase the DWP Newsletter for ‘advisers, intermediaries and other professionals’ has this announcement “The Government has announced the launch of a single fraud investigation service (SFIS), to tackle all welfare benefit fraud… investing an extra £140 million to deliver savings of over £2.3 billion by cutting the amount of money that is loss through fraud, error and debt”.
This is on top of the current forecast of £188,003, as the DWP was expressly clear this amount was for the “Are you doing the right thing” campaign only! Which, in REAL terms means an extra £140,000 over 18 months (Oct 16 -Mar 16)
This is a huge amount of money from a Government who persistently tell us, we as a nation are broke; so remember when you read in the press or the internet, hear on the radio or watch on TV how this is to SAVE £1 billion ‘lost’ in the past year because other people are ‘cheating’ Stop & Think – might this the is the same £1 billion that’s been lost for the past 8 years or more??
CHECK OUT the latest Data from ilegal.org ‘Fit for work or fit to drop’, Over quarter of a million deaths relating to sickness benefit claims?