Busted? Ministers launched a £1m poster campaign in October warning that the government would come down hard on benefit cheats. Government minister Mark Harper said at the time:’Those who cheat the system need to know we will use everything in our power to stop them stealing money from hardworking taxpayers, and that they could land themselves in jail when they’re caught.’
But is benefit fraud a big problem for the taxpayer? In 2013/14, £1.2bn of benefit was lost due to fraud. The total paid out in benefits was £164bn. So benefit fraud made up less than 1% of the overall welfare bill that year. However, the total amount of cash lost due to fraud will be less than that, as a lot of the money will be recovered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Dude Swheatie says on this:It seems to me that the real problem is Government ministers such as Mark Harper misleading the public with incorrect information such as the above and then scuppering debate by not turning up.