With over 20 per cent of the UK’s public expenditure going on welfare benefits, it is little wonder that David Cameron has announced plans for yet another targeted campaign to cut the level of fraud in the benefit system. Yet Jane Tinkler shows that under the previous Labour government the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) had already made great strides in reducing recorded fraud problems. The coalition government’s initiatives may simply spread a lot of alarm amongst benefits claimants and poorer households, doing little to deter fraud but a great deal to discourage legitimate claimants. Real savings would come from better communicating complex benefits to citizens and from improving IT systems in DWP – both hard to do when the government has frozen further spending in both areas
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