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Stiffer Sentences for Benefit Fraud

Comment 4th July 2010

Commit benefit fraud and you will go to Prision and you will lose benefits to help pay for it back.

Time and time again we read in the press about people commiting this in quite large amounts only to get a let off with a suspended prision sentence or community service and then not lose their all their benefits to pay for it.

Whilst they may have a nominal amount cut to pay it back, it's normally so low that it doesn't even make dent in their vast weekly claims anyway so the money is never recovered.

The signal currently being sent out , is that Fraud pays. Do it on a large enough scale and the punishment is  well worth the crime.. !!!..

I would like to see :

1 -A much higher proportion of benefit cut to recover the money.

2 – Custodial sentences for larger amounts of fraud.

3 – People claiming asylum who commit doing benefit fraud to be automatically deported and lose their right to claim. 

 

Why does this matter?

It is estimated that in 2008, £12.6 million of public money was lost through benefit fraud. This figure is made up of:

  • £5.1m – Income Support
  • £1.8m – Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • £1.1m – State Pension Credit
  • £3.1m – Incapacity Benefit
  • £1.3m – Carer’s Allowance
  • £0.2m – Instrument of Payment (cheque) fraud
It is also estimated that a further £3.0m was lost through Housing Benefit fraud.
In some cases many of those who commit benefit fraud can receive other benefits known as passport benefits such as free prescriptions, dental treatment etc etc 
All of these losses are a huge drain on public money which could be put to much better use in such areas as health, education, transport, policing, and for the general good of the community.
The people who commit benefit fraud are stealing money from some of the most poor and vulnerable people in our society including those who receive benefits.
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