Bounty hunters to cut benefit fraud by £1bn - Telegraph

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Whilst I'm all for simplifying the system, and the concept of a universal citizens' income appeals to me, it's about as likely to happen as turkeys voting for Christmas. Or bankers giving their bonuses to the Big Issue as a sort of mass expiation of sin. But then it appeals because I think the whole concept of how we treat people in this country is massively unfair, and frankly I'd have nothing to lose under such a system. Would the politicians and their big donor friends?

Nobody is even looking at the Greens and their policies, despite the fact that the others have more or less a unified view on everything. Let's be completely honest here: the reason we don't have an effective opposition in this country is because their policies would have been almost identical during this parliament except maybe for the NHS reforms - except for the fact that the last lot "reformed" the NHS a mere 4 times in 13 years.
some great comments in this thread.

My original concern is around the emotive use of the term 'bounty hunter'. It suggests they will be able to earn a fee for every person they identify to the DWP as a potential 'fraudester', and that they will be roughless in their attempt to find them.

There will be people out there abusing the system but I'm sure they will know how to continue hiding even if their credit details are now being used. The people who will be caught up in this are the mentally ill and those not great at looking after their own affairs. I can just see the letters now - "you have been identified as a potential benefit fraudester, you must respond to the letter within 7 days (back dated posting date and sent 2nd class so it only gives you 3 days) otherwise you will be summoned to court and your benefits stopped." Many will be thrown into a state of shock/panic and not be capable of replying - I've seen it happen many times before.

Carer Ambassador - Surrey
I think you are right, and many more will not claim in the first place for fear that they will be hounded like a dog. Thats why a universal citizens income would be so much better - a bit like the Childrens Allowance, which is not means tested.

Actually I think that the Greens policy is being taken seriously, and the macro-economics start to stack up very well, because of the huge cost of administering and policing the current wasteful system, and the massive inequities that the welfare state perpetuates and even fosters. Income gaps have been growing wider, not converging, the system has by any standards utterly failed and is on its last legs. Bounty hunting cheats down is a sign of growing desperation at top level, and of course it wont work. Converging the tax and benefits IT systems along with compulsory access to bank information and net inflows and outflows both domestically and overseas is more likely - Big Brother is just around the corner and all governments would love to get their hands on your bank statements routinely. In future, they will. And cash, and cheques are on their way out.
Converging the tax and benefits IT systems along with compulsory access to bank information and net inflows and outflows both domestically and overseas is more likely - Big Brother is just around the corner and all governments would love to get their hands on your bank statements routinely. In future, they will. And cash, and cheques are on their way out.
The Welfare reform Act, passed this week, allows for Universal Credit payments to be made based on real-time information provided by HRMC, the software has been under development for some time.

Earlier legislation already allows the government access to benefit claimants' bank statements without claimants' permission or knowledge, banks witholding this information can be penalised.

Experian is being paid to identify those claimants whose spending habits indicate that they may be defrauding the benefits system, these will not be those claimants who have difficulty managing their money but those who have a good credit history which is considered inconsistent with claimant status, for example, a minister under the last administration stated that any claimant who had a gold credit card must have undeclared income and therefore be defrauding the system.

Finally, a week after Lord Freud hailed Universal Credit as removing fraud from the benefits system, the government seem to have forgotten that it was originally heralded as a cost-cutting exercise] ... 8-12.shtml[/url]

and in anticipation of the passing of the Welfare Reform Bill, The Sun this week has been running another do your patriotic duty and report anyone you dislike or hold a grudge against for benefit fraud campaign endorsed by Ian Duncan Smith: ... dlers.html

which apparently has increased the number of calls to the Benefit Fraud Hotline by 30 per cent] ... -duty.html[/url]
...and which is as unlikely to see an increase in fraud detection as the last 10 years of targeting.

I've come across some classic examples of "fraud," when I worked in the Jobcentre and DHSS years ago:

"He's got a new car and he's on benefits" - yes, it's called Motability.

"He goes abroad for his holidays" - yes, at a time when it was cheaper to do so than holidaying in the UK.

"He's always up early and leaves the house before 7am: he must be working" - yes, to get to his Mum's house to provide care.

I also caught a few more interesting examples of real fraud. But not one of them was reported to us. They were ones I caught out or who made stupid mistakes. Like the guy who was warned off because he was working in a pub and not declaring his earnings. He took a week's break and started up again. Wasn't caught for over a year.

Most people don't recognise real fraud, because they don't know what it looks like. This guy had a regular working pattern and nobody knew he was "doing the double" because he was claiming sickness. So yes, it does happen. But it's rare, and it usually isn't the ones you think it is.
i think if and when dog the bounty hunter looks into our affairs and find that since 2005 we have been to canada and the usa twice and are going again this august he will lick his lips and start planning how to spend his bonus .
plus the fact that according to experian my credit rating is 917 ,plus i have a gold credit card plus another one also mal has a credit card plus we have an over draft limit of £2500 he will think all his birthdays have come at once.
but when i explain that the only reason that we can afford these trips is because mal stopped smoking -£30 a week and he does go to his day center -£20 a week =£200 a month the poor mans lower lip will start to quiver and tears of disapointment will come in to his eyes ,i think i will almost feel sorry for the poor man.
Even if they do recover back most of the money, which the DWP should have not have given out without investigating the situation the claimants problems are, would they give the genuine claimants more money, instead of the tight pennies that come under the cost of living. I don't think so.

It's a shame my husband near retiring age is the only one working in our household, me on carer's allowance, at the moment 55.55, my 31 year old daughter on income support and DLA. She rips her clothes everyday and mine too, because of her disability, dad has to pay for this, plus high taxes because it comes under single. So forgive me for feeling a bit bitter over the way they manage our money.