From the TUC

Chancellor exaggerates welfare fraud

20 Oct 2010, by in Society & Welfare

In his statement on the Spending Review George Osborne said that he wasn’t going to tolerate social security fraud any more. He said

We estimate that £5 billion is being lost this way each year.

This is a huge increase from the level of fraud the Department for Work and Pensions was estimating just three months ago. In July, the National Audit Office published a note on Fraud and error in benefit expenditure, arising from their audit of the Department for Work and Pensions’ accounts. They reported that the DWP told them that “overpayments due to fraud and error in 2009-10 are estimated at £3.1 billion” (my emphasis.)

But even this figure would have been an over-statement. As the NAO goes on to report, £1.1 billion of this figure was due to official error and the same amount to customer error. The DWP estimate of the amount of fraud overpayments was £1 billion – one fifth of the amount claimed by Mr Osborne.

The Chancellor must have got his data from the DWP – what has happened in the last three months to quintuple the estimated level of fraud?

5 Responses to Chancellor exaggerates welfare fraud

  1. Tweets that mention Chancellor exaggerates welfare fraud | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Oct 20th 2010, 5:43 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon HB, Phil BC, ToUChstone blog, NewLeftProject, Jared Gaites and others. Jared Gaites said: RT @averyps: RT @touchstoneblog Chancellor exaggerates welfare fraud http://bit.ly/dea7sB […]

  2. Adrian Hindle
    Oct 20th 2010, 8:55 pm

    Richard Excell-even in their explanation and requests for comments concerning recent anti-fraud measures they repeat this figure of 5.2 billion in the opening few words -I did reply but ti is getting extremely tiring continually correcting them-also this three times benefit fraud and you lose it completely-has this ever happened-I think their ploy is to cynically appear tough on a miniscule problem to feed into the idea that it is widespread and endemic 1% of claims fraudulent-mostly organised -is this a ever increasing ploy to reduce numbers-mainly by deter people from applying-fines for avoidable errors in claims -half the Cabinet do not the rules concerning the differing benefits-this is obscene.

  3. Do ministers understand their own report? | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Oct 22nd 2010, 5:29 pm

    […] couple of days ago I noted that the Chancellor’s statement on the Spending Review exagerated the amount of social […]

  4. The DWP suggests Osborne is exaggerating benefit fraud | Liberal Conspiracy
    Oct 23rd 2010, 11:24 am

    […] benefit fraud by Richard Exell     October 23, 2010 at 11:24 am A couple of days ago I noted that the Chancellor’s statement on the Spending Review exagerated the amount of social […]

  5. sharron adey
    Oct 30th 2010, 8:05 am

    this is brilliant thankyou. I am just starting to understand the
    depth of what is going on with these cads. Your details and
    simple explanation makes it straightforward in easy language so
    even I understand it. This should be on national news for the nation
    to see not only on the web where a large majority won’t see it.