Magazine article Public Finance

Welfare Fraud 'Costs Each Household £180 a Year'

Magazine article Public Finance

Welfare Fraud 'Costs Each Household £180 a Year'

Article excerpt

Every household in Britain is losing around £180 per year because of fraud and error in the government's benefit and tax credits systems, figures released by Opposition MPs this week suggest.

A series of reports into Chancellor Gordon Brown's flagship tax credits regime revealed that fraud and error in the system was as high as £1.28bn in 2003/04.

But Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman David Laws estimated the total losses through the welfare system at £4.3bn annually - £180 per household. Speaking to Public Finance on the eve of the Revenue & Customs department's announcements on July 11, Laws said that tax credits losses had reached 'unjustifiable' levels.

Edward Leigh, chair of the Commons' Public Accounts Committee, said: 'It is an appalling state of affairs when approximately £1 in every £10 paid out in tax credits goes to someone who Is not entitled to it. …

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