Posts tagged ‘Fraud’

Unfettered Corruption in 21st Century Politics


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It’s always been the case that skullduggery has frequented the political shenanigans as people vye for powerful positions,people have literally lost their heads in times gone by,but in recent times this has gone from being hidden to outright blatant displays where if you have money it can buy you power. Look to the USA where Trump has bought his way to the top!

In the last 30yrs we’ve had to deal with Thatcher’s legacy followed by  Blair,and Cameron’s coalition with Lib Dems,and back to the Tories to finish what Thatcher started. In the meantime, Labour have finally got a man who is principled,decent and who has rallied the people like no other modern-day Politician since Attlee. The Working Class have always suffered under the Tories and under Labour too in recent times, although nowhere near what is being metered out in the last 6years.

Any prosperous nation would like a decent economy, with people in work being paid a decent wage to ease the gap of inequality and a route out of abject poverty where citizens prosper and achieve their aims to provide a decent standard of living for their families survival and well-being.

The last 6 years has seen such corruption from Expenses Scandals,Wars based on lies, Pedophilia cover ups, Deaths and arrests of those who dared speak the truth,election rigging just to name a few.

However Since Mr Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party with the largest mandate of 60% not seen since Atlee, the working class people have risen from the ashes to demand a left government and social changes that benefit the poorest rather than the richest. From the outset of Corbyn’s appointment those who have profitted from personal and political gain from the capitalist society we live in have taken things to another level entirely.

Politics is awash with corruption globally, where if you have powerful freinds and money anything is possible at expense of the people below,where profit is king and people don’t matter,including death.

This is why Corbyn’s ideology has gripped the people of the UK  (except Scotland) to demand change,to wake them from slumber to fight back and tell those in power enough is enough. The plotters within the Labour Party which has now lead to a leadership challenge is nothing short of shameless and a stain on democracy let alone the Labour Party itself.  The deliberate damage caused by those not wanting to give up their careerist postions and that profit and greed is all they care about. They say they care about the Party which is blatent lies they care about themselves and the membership is the party but the rich pickings of the gravy train is hard to give up,  just like a child who has become acustomed to living the high life of fancy holidays and ponies etc they fear Corbyn,but more importantly they have lost any remote connection with those they are meant to serve.Those people are now becoming motivated to challenge the status quo and hold to account those elected politicians who promised them the world and delivered very little unless you count endless suffering under the policies they either introduced or backed in opposition. One thing Mr Corbyn has given the people is ‘Hope’ of a fairer more equal society when they had abandoned all hope of the changes needed. This is why this man is feared so much by the establishment and the rich and powerful.

The media has played a large part in all of the lies and spin,so much so that you cannot believe a word they say or write,as they are so influenced by those who put them in charge ,the rich and powerful have bought the british media off by threats and bullying of closing them down.

The recent debacle of Brexit, A Tory leadership challenge without an election taking place and the blatent lies about Corbyn illustrate what is wrong with our country and politics in general. Labour should have rid itself of the enemies within and chose not too, saying they are a broad church, well that’s all well and good  until someone comes in the middle of the night and starts dismantling the church you have built over decades.

It is time for change, it is time for a purge of those who are stealing the bricks of your foundations and it is time for the working people to be heard and for those changes to reflect all it citizens needs,not just the few who would like to see their profits and personal gains grow at extortionate rates. It is clear the people have spoken in regards to labour’s leadership battle yet still the desperate try to cling on,  circumventing democracy by changing the rules illegally so that they profit from the outcome in the faint hope the Blairite Titanic can sink the Corbyn Battleship Cruiser which is steaming ahead in all the polls and with masses turning out to see the quiet man who has turned politics on its head,one who isn’t a slick polished firebrand some think we need,but a man who is principled,has integrity and most importantly is  a man of the people whose policies will be for those who really matter….The electorate.

The Criminalisation of the Working Class -Yes it’s Class War


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Observations I have made as have many other campaigners is the constant  oppression of the working class by those in power and those in the  chattering middle classes who believe this government is right to clamp down on the poorest in society and particularly those who cannot work due to disability, those who happen to be made redundant or become unemployed who happen to need support from the welfare state. Many claim Social Security Payments of one description or another that includes the so-called ‘Hardworking’ Poor on Zero Hour Contracts or Low Pay.

Most families in this country claim Child Benefit, some claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax help or Pension Credit top up for pensioners who don’t have enough to live on, yet feel this does not apply to them as they have paid their dues, well guess what -so have many claimants during their working lives! So come and get your scrounger badge here, we welcome everyone.

Claimants have become the scapegoat of society for the failings of successive governments to control the banking sector and the countries finances. They have become demonised, victimised and now criminalised for being poor and working class.  The few  have got greedier and greedier filling their pockets with profits over people with their gold spoils off the working man

The young have become victims of brutal cuts which they had no part in.We have many who are homeless living on the streets of Britain, forced to leave home in some cases rather than stay where they are to suffer abuses that most of us cant imagine, while denied any assistance to live independently with cuts to Housing Benefit, in a home of their own, forced into prostitution in some cases as means to survive, those who are able to claim some assistance are forced into apprenticeships, workfare or sanctions if not in higher education or university. Some people are homeless due to evictions  brought about by the Bedroom Tax or loss of Social Security payments many are young people but not all are. The Government has now given local authorities the all clear  for them to be prosecuted and removed from our streets as they try and brush them from sight so the public don’t hold this government to account, or are portrayed as economic migrants and beggars who are to be refused help, because they are too lazy to get off their backsides and work and pay taxes like rest of us or come from other countries seen as less worthy than our own indigenous people. Yet Corporate Multi-nationals are given tax breaks or avoid paying their fair share of taxes ,bankers are given bonuses for getting the country into the global crash of 2008 and the Conservatives do zilch about chasing these fraudsters which would wipe the national debt overnight if they did so, because they threaten to take their business  elsewhere to avoid any responsibility for their actions and successive governments capitulate as banks hold us to ransom, unlike in Iceland they throw them all in jail and are doing very well thank you.

Many have seen the Immigration card being played out which is another group who are to be blamed for societies ill’s, they’re coming here to take our jobs, they claim benefits they haven’t paid into the system for, they get free homes which is incorrect and misleading, yet in recent times the refugee crisis in Greece and across the world saw the public rush to help those caught up in wars they did not create, by sending supplies and begging their relevant governments to open the borders to let these people find some peace from the constant bombing of their country, while we the UK supplied some of the bombs and guns that they now need rescuing from because they have fallen, in some cases, into militant hands to oppress it’s people. We have seen a rise in race hate crime against anyone deemed muslim or a possible extremist.

Those with disabilities have borne the brunt of brutal welfare reforms which as seen swathing cuts to vital care packages and support and to those who care for them, those with mental health have been especially targeted by this government and many deaths have resulted in this particular group but not exclusively, and many disabled people have suffered massive increases in attacks not just on welfare but on the  themselves by those  who believe they are scroungers and not worthy of assistance. They have become targets of the false fraud tag, as criminals of taking unfairly taxpayers money, fiddling the system of billions of pounds when the truth is more is wasted by this government in error and by the DWP mistakes than in ‘actual’ Claimant Fraud 0.3% (0.9% overall if you include error) which is thrown together to mislead the public.  Various Government projects which are deemed a failure and take much more taxpayers money from the public purse than any claimant ever possibly could in a lifetime. They are brutalised by sanctions or the appalling WCA Assessment because their disabilities set them up to fail as the right provision they actually need to stay in work or start work is severely lacking both from employers and government alike. Many disabled people do work or would work if their needs were to be  properly considered, yet consistently fail to enforce reasonable adjustments on employers under the Equality Act 2010 as we are less productive than our able bodied counterparts. We also have to accept that many disabled people cannot work due to the nature of their disability and the impacts that has on their daily living.

We now have Iain Duncan Smith denying any causal links to his welfare reforms to harming disabled people but there are cases out there if you look like Michael O’Sullivan, Stephanie Botterell, Mark Woods ,David Clapson but there are thousands more who have lost their lives , yet still disabled people are persecuted not only by government but by those who really believe this governments rhetoric. Many are denied legal aid due to this government stripping away the right to justice making it impossible for most of society, whose only crime is to be poor.

To add insult to injury were are now seeing the criminalisation of the working poor who are the main clients in food banks even though many claimants whom are sanctioned or have benefit delays also use food banks, initially set up to mop up this governments mess of austerity as now being integral part of the welfare state he plans to put Welfare Advisors in them to mitigate his mess, alongside installing food banks in NHS hospitals and linking information gathered by these advisors to punish them further, this ruse is to tie in with his lifestyle choices cost the Government and NHS & Taxpayer to blame them further for being poor, so if you drink ,smoke obese or take illegal substances then your claims are at risk of being sanctioned if you don’t comply to forced treatment for your addictions, which not only is against your human rights. Not to worry though because your government is about to strip your Human Rights from you as well by pulling out of EU so they can carry on abusing you.

Workers and Unions are fighting for their lives tomorrow to stop the Trade Union Bill which is about stripping workers rights and the rights to withdraw your labour to hold your employer to account for injustices they deal upon you.

THIS IS CLASS WAR make no mistake about it, the criminalisation of the poor and working classes of this country have not been under such threat since 1930 Germany, only this time it isn’t just the jewish people at risk it is ‘all working class people at risk’ including those who do not fit into a capitalist society and are deemed unworthy by the elite ,while we will go down in history if we do not stand up and fight back, as collateral damage to benefit the deserving ruling classes. It is divide and rule tactics to divide us into two camps ,deserving and non deserving, which like the hunger games pit various factions within those two groups in a fight to the death of survival of the fittest.

You may think Im crazy  but history repeats itself more often than people think, and now is time to say enough is enough as it will be too late in a few years time and many more lives will be lost and when we have all gone, the chattering middle classes will take our place at the bottom as they cant climb to the top because the elite wont allow it.

We the people at the bottom are being criminalised for the mistakes at the top and denied justice ‘for all’ not the few, by those who inflict harm on those who dare stand up and say stop not in my name . It is time to hold them to account, the next person could be you if you happen to fall on hard times.

 

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT BENEFIT FRAUD AND WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WONT TELL YOU!


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Picture courtesy of Telegraph Newspaper

A collaboration between Blue Annoyed and Welfare Weekly

The Government have launched yet another campaign earlier this year to crack down on those who claim benefits, who are claiming fraudulently and purported to cost the taxpayer 16million a year.  Every single opportunity they get we are told there is a scrounger in every street across the country yet the facts don’t really back this up. The government has turned people  in society against each other with relentless stories of the ‘fake’ or ‘cheat’ lurking in your neighbourhood. They have turned some into amateur sleuths and doctors  who feel it is their civic duty to turn in Mr Jones across the road because  he leaves  at 8am every morning without actually knowing the person circumstances, I mean after all he could be going to hospital for chemotherapy every day or radiotherapy, or even visiting a sick relative who needs care first thing in the morning! In many people’s minds their hard-earned taxes gives them the right with full backing of this government, the justification to often in many cases report people they think are claiming when they should not be. As a campaigner I see this in action from those who are being oppressed by this government on a daily basis people who think the neighbour across the road is getting  something which they have failed to get and disability hierarchy kicks into a debate of the deserving and not deserving culture this government has done very effectively using divide and rule tactics and the use of subtle language , not seen for many years. See Links at bottom of this blog for media links.

Lets make one thing clear here if you commit fraud it is a crime end of, and you deserve to be caught and dealt with accordingly  yet according to  fellow campaigner Steph Benstead’s article in the Huffington Post this is what she quoted:

Fraud costs 0.7% of the benefit budget. Error costs 1.4% of the benefit budget (although a further 0.9% is underpaid through error and more than 6% goes unclaimed). If the government’s interest is accuracy then it would do better to tackle error and under-claiming. Although I can’t see many posters saying ‘Health got worse? Let us know – you might be eligible for more benefits’ or ‘Only working part-time? Let us know – you might be eligible for tax credits.’

The hotline itself has a ‘success’ rate of 4.4%, but only if you include over-payment through error (although there is no report on how much is identified through the hotline as under-paid through error, or even if the DWP corrects this through back-payments). That’s about double the overpayments generally in the benefits system, so the general public aren’t doing too badly (they only get 95% wrong). But it essentially means the DWP is waiting for a (potentially malicious) call to decide who to investigate; risk-profiling, on the other hand, means deciding to investigate someone because they are part of a high-likelihood group, which one would hope is both more accurate and less affected by public whims.

Of concern though is not just whether this is the best way to tackle fraud but the culture it creates. Everyone knows fraud is wrong, that doesn’t need changing. The public already (wrongly) thinks fraud is very high, that doesn’t need changing either. The hotline seems to be doing pretty well at receiving calls (even if over 95% are wrong) so maybe that doesn’t need changing either. What does need changing is the stigma and demonisation of claimants, and this campaign won’t help that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/stef-benstead/benefit-fraud-campaign_b_4535218.html

 

The lies the public are being told is an  absolute outrage and is a complete falsehood, so I banged out a FOI as did another colleague at Welfare Weekly (an online news service) to the DWP asking for facts and figures regarding benefit fraud. To my horror my beliefs were accurate  as this year there have been 17,732 claimants  across all benefits in the UK which is by no means acceptable but from a realistic view of the millions of claimants disprove IDS’s  ideology that everyone is on the fiddle, when realistically he doesn’t have a clue . It is like any other system in this country which will be  abused by some, while most claimants are decent honest law-abiding citizens.  The amount of calls the government gets  regarding fraudulent activity is phenomenally the opposite polarity  it is so shockingly  high  that they must be working 24/7 flat out on zero hours with matchsticks to keep their eyes open. If you wish to download a copy then you will need to go  and search for the numbers 4468 and 4456 on the website link below. Please bear in mind the statistics have not been quality assessed to government approval so should be treated with caution.The culture of hatred and demonisation of benefit claimants is perpetuating high volumes of false accusations. Public perceptions of benefit fraud is sky high which wrongly motivates people to report others.

Benefit fraud investigators are waiting for (potentially malicious) calls from members of the public to decide who to investigate. Risk-profiling, on the other hand, means deciding to investigate someone because they are part of a high-risk group, which can be more accurate and is less affected by spurious or unfounded accusations.Of concern is not just whether this is the best way to tackle benefit fraud, but also the culture of hate and suspicion it creates. Fraud investigators are receiving several thousands of accusations of benefit fraud from members of the public, and yet the vast majority are proven to be false or incorrect.While investigators review allegations, those reported face benefit delays and may be forced to turn to food banks.

 DWP also admit they don’t record how many people make malicious allegations – mainly due to the anonymity they provide accusers – and take no action (legal or otherwise\ against those who do. The DWP says malicious allegations are “unlikely to occur”.

“We are unable to confirm the number of claimants who have been incorrectly reported to be claiming benefits fraudulently, and who have their benefit payments docked or suspended as a result of this information, because this information is not recorded.

 “However an incident of this nature would be very unlikely to occur

“Without the facility to report benefit fraud anonymously there is a risk that the public may be deterred from providing valuable intelligence that assists in protecting the public purse.”

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

 

Benefit Fraud Statistics by benefit across UK 2014

fraud one

The second table is continuation of benefit fraud by benefit.

fraud 1

 

The calls the DWP receive:

fraud hotline calls

 

 

 

 

So as you will see the  figures are somewhat  misrepresented in the media with one aim only , to remove the safety net from the people who most need it and the slow death of the welfare state and the introduction of more private insurance and restrictions, while those in power to make lots of money and their chums in the Banking and Insurance industries. Lets make 2015 a Capitalist free zone and stop the greed and help those in need.

 A Few Examples  by mainly right-wing press;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736546/Named-shamed-Five-Britain-s-biggest-benefits-cheats-stole-4-5m-taxpayer.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/caught-camera-watch-benefit-cheat-4626287

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/worst-benefit-fraud-30-years-4629918

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/448474/Thousands-of-benefit-cheats-escaping-prosecution-official-figures-reveal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-29599487

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2705618/Benefits-cheat-claimed-couldn-t-leave-house-unfamiliar-places-130-000-scam-exposed-tip-living-GOA.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11029594/Benefit-cheat-stole-70k-while-running-2.6m-property-empire.html

 

UPDATE: I hasten to add there are many reasons why simple mistakes on forms can lead to a claimant being accused of fraud, people can be prosecuted for benefit fraud for forgetting to inform DWP/Council of ANY change in circumstances,not all of these people have either deliberately set out to defraud. It can be someone who doesn’t understand what they have to do because they have difficulty processing information given to them, or they cant simply read and write but are afraid to say so. The rhetoric of this government is everyone claiming is a liar and cheat which simply isn’t the case.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit Fraud Does it Stand Up to Scrutiny? Part Two


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My blog yesterday covered one part of Universal Credit  but this one is where Lord David Freud was present on 7th April. This also means another long Blog.

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, and Mike Driver, Finance Director General, Department for Work and Pensions, Mr David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury, and Nick Lodge, Director General, Benefits and Credits, HM Revenue and Customs

Watch the meeting.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15278

 

There was twice as much error was discovered in the system and when the Chair Dame Anne Begg pointed this out, they seemed unperturbed by this but attempted to explain the process in ways to address this matter.

The Latest figures for fraud and error  given by minister David Freud were as follows;

Fraud and Error Monetary Costs 1.2 billion

Claimant 1.6 billion

Official 8.0 billion

Yet daily we hear of all this fraud but little about error which is being used to demonise claimants as ‘all on the make’.  The committee chair did point out why was the emphasis on fraud when 2/3rds was error. Is the 1.2 billion monetary costs caused by an  anomaly or is that overall? One thing Lord Freud explains is ways in which they plan to address it by introducing  4 main points across UC & PIP, They are as follows to help you understand processes being put in place;

UC Error

  • Simplification of process of UC & PIP
  • IT/Data Sharing using (RTI  (real time information) and Atlas (http://thefedexperts.com/post/22124968271/government-consulting-services)
  • A New Quality Framework (making sure information is consistant and accurate)
  • Case Cleansing (this means they take caseloads and cleanse it of fraud and error ) ie: overpayements for example

 

Secondly they are looking at Claimant Error

  • Claimant Error  (Making sure  Government information is in plain english and communicating what is required)
  • Centralising (Communication Products)
  • Awareness Messages
  • Introduction of Civil Penalties £50 fine

When the committee  asked why so much emphasis was on fraud when the committee felt the department should be focussing on top priority of  error of 8  billion as it was highest  cost, the treasury minister went on to explain  figures of tax credit overall expenditure 2011/12 was 3.0% error overall.

Claimant Error 4.2 %

Official Error 0.1%

At the moment this only affects Carers and JSA groups but will affect others when it comes to the roll out.

The breakdown figures for both groups;

JSA  2.9%

Carers 3.9%

 

Anne Begg challenged the perception of public view on fraud which they admitted across depts is 0.7%  being lumped together  is deceptive, yet public perception is that fraud is rife in system,  yet error which looms large 34 times higher than fraud is in actual fact not being fairly reported. She suggested that maybe they should be separated which they denied should happen, maybe that doesn’t fit government rhetoric  to indoctrinate the general public into backing their reforms if they knew the truth. Minister Glenda Jackson MP also asked why particular the DWP presented the argument to public  using ‘Black Propaganda’ that fraud was running amok while in actual fact error is worse, not only did she dare say this but called Lord Freud , Lord Fraud (Freudian slip) much to the raised eyebrows in the room of the committee but to the amusement of the nickname given him by activists. Social media was alight with this faux pas. She also brought up his conjucture that the complication of forms and the departments system on delivery to claimants was erroneous, causing misery to many and surely it should be changed, he responded by saying many drift into fraud. She argued that he didn’t answer her question , in that it is the responsibility of the department to make sure the greatest misuse of public money which is in error, not fraud and therefore the department is as culpable as the claimant itself in falsely claiming  statistically they were misleading the public into believing that fraud was the greater misuse of public money. on this Glenda has my vote for ‘getting it’, but Lord Freud said he would have to beg to differ on that point. The sheer arrogance of the minister in his dismissal to her fair and valid question. The chair did not force him to answer the question which is what he is there for, which was disappointing to say the least.

The public view against claimants  is appalling and perpetuated by the rhetoric being spun by ministers & celebrities who  misuse the fact to suit the agenda, the latter depending which party they follow and donate too. Most claimaint’s would work if they could, but  sadly the painful truth is most of them even with support  cannot, which is down to the fact they are too sick or disabled to do so, the mind is willing in most cases the body isn’t. Claimants & Campaigners and the public are waking up to realise they are being hoodwinked by politicians and the media when the realities on ground are plain to see. While the backlash of those in power caught with their hands in the overflowing cookie jar of capitalism is gaining some momentum. The public are treated as if they are stupid  when the reverse is true. When they can’t get care for an elderly relative at home or hospital, or they are treated like criminals for making a mistake  on a claim form being classed and labelled as a fraudster then the reality of it is,  the word is spreading like a bush fire and it can only come to discord on the streets which I believe will be worse than previously seen around UK a few years ago. Politicians need to realise this will come to the fore, and to be frank I think this is what a driving factor behind it is, they know if they push people enough it will cause untold misery and give the government an excuse to crackdown on Joe Public further stripping away their human rights  and say I told you so, while those  barricading themselves in their homes from the riotous behaviour going on outside. Fraud to me is a deliberate attempt to gain from something, not a mistake which they call low level fraud., which is classed to error.

Lord Freud went on to say that the government has an elaborate measurement of fraud and error and one the best systems  in the world. Nick then went on to say in his dept  tax credit expenditure is higher than they would like it to be but at 7.3%   it had actually come down in real terms. This is individual fraud  statistic rather than organised fraud by large groups of people.

The methodology measures used were

  • Earnings
  • Capital
  • Under declared occupational pension
  • Living together
  • Fraud Abroad

Joint strategy budget for new measures of 425million in 2015

  • Actual Money 286 million
  • Savings to be made 1.93 million

Measures to get people to use the fraud line  of DWP, have got financial incentives to those whose give information which result in a claimant being caught and removed from the system and monies reclaimed are still in place in the strategy report  as the chair queried if they had been dropped ,which she was told they had not. Work is also being done with Crimestoppers to address this and is on going.

Incentives to combat fraud in place is by means of making information of what is required plain and clear to declare. the HMRC targets 5.1/2 % reductions of fraud and error is what they are  looking at. DWP targets are x2 hopes 1.7% reduction in 2014/15 the business case on targets are on delivery with the hope it will plateau at 2.1% MFE of which data will be published in June. The Single Fraud and Error Service is investigations into fraud being brought under one roof and funded accordingly as  a single unit, and at present no benchmarking is done between depts in public sector & private sector.

The next question raised by Glenda Jackson was on the excessive data  sent to LHA  using Atlas and that they had reported that they had to wade through loads of data to find what was needed  in case of Housing Benefit when assessing a claim Glenda asked if it was going to be streamlined , Mike Driver stated he wasn’t aware of this but would tell his team  so they also went on to talk about automated systems and the emphasis on consistency and data matching across  the systems involved ie Atlas. She asked Mr Driver why it was  that overpayments of Housing Benefit (HB) was twice as much as it should be and therefore is resource intensive both monetarily and labour wise using Atlas and could they not incentivise to reduce Fraud and Error the subsidy is reduced to 40% by LHA’s,   if they identifiy fraud or error  and recover the amounts they are given up to 140% subsidy the rest goes to treasury rather than LHA’s. Under Universal Credit the responsibility for HB will go to DWP and LHA’s have raised concerns about  the cross matching of data they share between other authorities and how that will impact on those claiming HB. The Intergrated Risk Intelligence Service (IRIS) which is used  by Government  she asked if that had been removed, redesigned or still in place? Lord Freud stated it  had a data matching service which was in place for live service (although it wasn’t in UC pilots) and they are developing IRIS in where they are splitting it up into 4 ways

  • Information confidence
  • Analytical Hub (RTI)
  • Design
  • Session in Confidence (Security Division Risk Assessment)

Only JSA  are at present been involved in pathfinders for UC. Anne Begg interjected to ask  how DWP was going to intergrate  LHA info on property and local information to UC. Anne Begg highlighted a issue of how if you have 4 flats on left all with same number 26 on a floor compared to 4 flats on right having same number 27 , how would the DWP data match those  to make sure a claim wasn’t fraudulent? Freud waffled his way through facts that the DWP ‘look to get’ not the will have local knowledge and housing data to cross match like LHA’s do at present, under the UC system if and when it rolls out. He said that at the moment those housing officers  will continue to be in HB dept’s for some time while the rollout continues. The question by Graham  Evans MP   asked  with the cross party support  of a Single Investigation Unit (SIU)  and asked how the concerns of LHA’s were worried they would lose some experienced fraud investigators especially in corporate area which Freud stated they wouldn’t lose those in corporate teams, and that funding was made available to them to enhance that team to deal with corporate fraud. Most Investigators in large authorities will be absorbed into the SIU and smaller ones will not lose any staff who may cover a wide range of fraud investigations across all fields. Stats on investigators to transfer are around 800.

 

When Mr Evans asked about UC rollout the next batch is June 2014  and then they take a break until October 2014  which they then expect will take 18mths and by 2016  the rollout should have completely ironed out any glitches in the system by March 2016.

 

Sheila Gilmore MP then went on to ask who is verifying tenancy agreements and leases in regards to UC & HB And Freud said they are talking to LHA’s which is on going, and that so when a claimant applies for UC that info is sent to UC and then verified by the LHA ,as where what is level of checking that’s needed . The HB system has been stripped down to cover all the needs according to Lord Freud, he also said the concerns she raised were not in the social rented sector so one can assume it is in private rented sector where the level of fraud and verification is needed the most.

Identity Assurance for UC  is being implemented under UC and that this will ensure who is on the end of phone or in office is who they state they are. Freud stated that a Cabinet Office led program being developed around the IT system in regards to face to face and telephone systems to create a process across all government departments and beta sites are in place. when Gilmore brought up biometric such as voice recognition will not be persued at this stage. The information as it comes in will be monitored by a security service type application where risk and threat  of fraud will be monitored 24/7  that will be adapted into UC. Red Flags trigger visits within the system, whereas green flags will be simple straight through process through a automatic system. Conditionality groups (Jsa,Wrag) can be seen or monitored by attending JCP for instance and they can be called in more often if need be. the analytics hub will stop this abuse  and before it gets into the system. 400 million savings are expected  from this approach across the departments, earning checks will be done across all benefits as this rolls out. RTI is already showing benefits  in flagging up potential problems. she asked how those not on monthly payments how would the adjust for that and the ministers said that could be achieved. self employed will have to self report along with a few others monthly. he said he didn’t want debt and fraud building up. they have also ramped up civil penalties to 50,000 per year.

No doubt this will become clearer as time rolls on as to whether or not this actually works or indeed gets off the ground given the train crash it appears to be with database matching and RTI systems that thye put in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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