30/10/2006

Campaign to crack down on benefit cheats launched

The government has launched a campaign which aims to crack down on benefit cheats.

The 'No Ifs, No Buts' campaign stresses the message that there are no excuses for committing benefit fraud.

It is estimated that almost £1 billion was lost last year through benefit fraud, compared to £2 billion in 2001.

The campaign will use advertising material including television ads, billboard posters and beer mats, as well as posters in pub toilets, bingo halls and betting shops in cities across Britain.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions John Hutton said: "Benefit fraud is theft and we are committed to catching benefit thieves and bringing the toughest penalties against those who commit this crime - no ifs, no buts.

"The public are fed up with benefit thieves stealing money intended for society's most vulnerable. There are no excuses for taking money that isn't yours."

Last year, benefit thieves received over 52,000 prosecutions, sanctions and cautions for a range of fraud offences.

The Fraud Act 2001 gave investigators new powers, such as the right to check bank accounts and household bills, to come down hard on people who cheat the system.

The campaign will run until the end of January next year.

(KMcA)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 November 2007
Fraud Alert For 25m As Child Benefit Data Lost
The loss 'in the post' of computer discs with 25m people's personal details on them has led to a major fraud alert across the UK. The child benefit data on them includes names, ages, bank and address details. Questions are alreay being asked whether Alistair Darling "is up to the job" of chancellor.
10 November 2003
Christmas campaign to target benefit cheats
A new government campaign is set to warn benefits cheats who are engaged in cash-in-hand work that they can expect to feel the full weight of the law if they are caught. The Targeting Benefit Fraud campaign is being stepped up as Christmas gets closer and some people become tempted to work illegally whilst claiming benefits.
12 February 2004
Benefit fraud crackdown saves taxpayers £400m
A government crackdown against fraud and error has saved £400 million of taxpayers money, according official statistics released today. The figures showed that overpayments in 2002/03 were £400 million less than they would have been if fraud and error had stayed at the same level as the baseline year of 1997/98.
21 January 2004
Conviction warning for benefits fraudsters
The government have claimed a victory today in the fight against benefits fraud following the conviction of a 41-year-old man at Luton Crown. David Thompson, 41, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to four and a half years at Luton Crown Court for his part in a scam to steal public money by presenting counterfeit giros at post offices.
28 June 2004
Ad campaign warns benefits fraudsters to think twice
A new campaign is warning benefit fraudsters to think twice before they try and cheat the system. New adverts featuring former James Bond villain Stephen Berkoff will warn people that the government is serious about cracking down on benefit fraud.