Where’s the list of the ten worst benefit administration blunders?

We’ve had in the media the list of the ten worst excuses given by benefit fraudsters. To be fair, the ladder one is particularly fine … yet when you total up the sums, the amount lost in benefit fraud is about the same or less than the amount lost due to administrative mistakes*.

I’m sure the list of the ten worst administrative blunders by civil servants is in the media grid coming up shortly, aren’t you?

* Calculations on this vary depending on precise definitions and data used, but see The FactCheck Blog for an example.

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  • I’d be more interested in the Top 10 excuses for Tax Fraud, which according to the National Fraud Authority cost the econony around £15.2 billion in 2008! Wonder how much we’re losing this year!

    A bit of “Light reading” from the Attorney Geerals Office: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk/nfa/GuidetoInformation/Documents/NFA_fraud_indicator.pdf

  • So make taxes simpler and lower. In addition to administrative error, and the tax fraud that Shauny points out, another £18.8 billion pounds of tax revenue is lost to Avoidance, Legal Interpretation, and Failure to take reasonable care.

    Lets give people less incentive to play the system, make it clearer what people have to pay, and easier to catch and prosecute those that don’t.

  • @charles

    simplifying the tax system and making it cheaper would not stop tax avoidance at all.

    People who have “got money” always want “more money”, hence the reason for hiring hot shot accountants at ridiculous fee’s to help them hide away their money.

    Look at some of the filthy rich, who still claimed “child benefit” and “winter fuel allowance” even though they did not really need these resources, and preferred to look at them as “tax benefits” rather than the “welfare benefits” that they actually are.

    The filthy rich will always find ways to invest in some “bogus film fund” to hide their Billions away from the tax man.

    It is and always will be, the filthy rich that brings “countries” to their knee’s whilst those poorer people at the bottom of the ladder suffer and are used to line the pockets of the super rich.

    That is another reason why we shouldn’t let these Pharmaceutical companies And other multi Billion Dollar Companies, to get their grubby little hands on our NHS and rip us off even more.

  • Dave Warren 30th May '11 - 2:49pm

    The DWP are appalling in my expirience.

    If you know how to play the system you are

    Their best trick is not tell you the rules and
    then use them against you to stop payments.

    The carers allowance unit is uncaring and
    the employment support allowance unit don’t
    support the sick they harass them.

    We need root and branch reform of this whole

  • @Dave is right on this one.

    I am disabled and work for a charity that helps fellow disabled people, most of which are too ill to work. Seriously ill and disabled people are now being denied benefits they are entitled to. ATOS, in league with the DWP is finding the most incapacitated people “fit for work” including people with terminal illnesses. It is to our shame that the sick and disabled are not assessed by doctors or specialists but by “health care professionals” who have so little knowledge of disability that it is criminal.

    The most vulnerable people are being let down, on purpose, by this government. And the LibDems, once the party who would defend the disabled, now says nothing while enacting policies that are forcing disabled people to make choices between food or paying the bills.

    We can afford to spend millions of pounds a day dropping bombs on Libya and Afghanistan. We can afford to let the banks pay out millions in bonuses of taxpayer money. But we can’t afford to take care of the weakest members of our society.

  • Super stuff for the Daily mail/Sun/Telegraph readers. Galbraith had it right: “The poor need the stick and the rich the carrot”

  • David Wright 31st May '11 - 1:21pm

    @Shauny – interesting document.
    In 2008: Benefit Fraud £1.1B, Tax Fraud £15.2B
    Says it all realy.

  • David Wright 31st May '11 - 1:24pm

    Damn it – when are we going to get an Edit button, or at least a Delete so we can repost a corrected item?

  • You asked for amusing admin tales. The Tax Office once pursued me for an unpaid debt, which their letter to me said was a total of £0.00. I did think about sending them a cheque, just to see if they would cash it. It took me a long time to get them to delete it from the system.

  • Tony Dawson 31st May '11 - 9:16pm

    In terms of errors by DWP benefit ‘decision-makers’ I have won just under 10.000 pounds in tribunals for two separate people eight years apart. Makes you wonder how many people who do not have specialist help lose considerably more. There must be tens of thousands stolen evey week in smalllish amounts because of ‘circumstance change’ computer memos from

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