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Reducing benefit fraud- a new approach?

Comment 16th August 2010

I would tentatively suggest serious consideration of a switch to what I believe to be the Dutch system of paying benefits. I have heard from several Dutch persons that the Dutch have little benefit fraud. That is because benefits are paid by the lowest tier of local government, not the national government. Claimants have to be interviewed by their neighbours, who know they will pay the benefits from their local taxes, and the claimants' activities are monitored locally.

In our case, the national government could still keep overall knowlege and budgetary control by continuing to decide how much subsidy is given to each local authority, including benefits, and the degree, if any, by which local rates could rise. As for the private sector, councils cutting fraud could be rewarded.

Seems a good use for the local authority talent apparently (from the newspapers) currently wasted by audit commisssion red tape.

Why does this matter?

A new approach to reducing benefit fraud. It may be that defrauding your neighbours is more difficult than defrauding what (I have read) many claimants believe to be money from an anonymous and limitless source.

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