10/08/2010

Credit Rating Agencies To 'Root Out' Benefits Cheats

Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled plans for credit ratings firms to be used to identify benefits fraudsters.

Mr Cameron announced the plans, which are aimed at cutting fraudulent claim amounting to £1.5 billion a year, in a speech in Manchester.

The Prime Minister said that he wanted the introduction of "more modern and new methods" to help tackle benefit fraud, which would include using credit agencies to help identify those making fraudulent claims.

He also said that Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith would report in the autumn on the best ways to reduce fraud and error in the benefits system, as part of the government's overall spending cuts.

Writing in the Manchester Evening News earlier, the Prime Minister had said: "Welfare and tax credit fraud and error costs the taxpayer £5.2 billion a year. That's the cost of more than 200 secondary schools or over 150,000 nurses."

He also said that a simplified benefits system, which is being developed by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, would help to reduce the current annual bill of £1.6 billion for administrative errors.

(KMcA/GK)

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