13 Jun 2012

Government understates jobseekers' fraud

We've heard this before, but it does no harm to be reminded that almost half of jobless people told to do unpaid work are opting to forfeit their handouts instead.

The figures show that many benefit claimants are working in the black economy, according to employment minister Chris Grayling.

They would rather give up their welfare payments than forego their undeclared earnings, he said.

29% sign off jobseeker’s allowance rather than turn up for unpaid work. A further 17% fail to start their placement and lose their benefits in consequence. Total 46%.

The figures come from an analysis of 3,190 people in May, June and July last year.

The Mail discusses some people's objections to the unpaid work scheme. But "nothing for nothing" should be the general principle. "Something for nothing" should be the exception.

Chris Grayling claims that
In 2010/11, people who were working while pretending to be unemployed in order to claim benefits cost the taxpayer an estimated £243million, including £94million in jobseeker’s allowance.
Really? Spending on jobseeker's allowance totalled £4.5bn. How much of that was claimed fraudulently?

Government figures put the proportion at a mere 3.4%, or £150m.

Governments don't want to admit how big the benefit fraud bill is, or they would be criticised for not doing more about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd estimate a third of the claims I deal with are 'dodgy', but I usually have to pay them.

My employer is more interested in paying claims as quickly as possible.

A minority are referred to Fraud but they are office based and other than credit checks there is not a lot they can do.