Benefit cheats are being warned that the Government will work with a credit reference agency (CRA) to track down fraudsters across the country.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) are delivering on the Prime Minister’s commitment to draw on the expertise of credit reference agencies (CRAs) to tackle £800m benefit fraud and error. The departments have signed a twelve month contract with Experian to help drive down unacceptably high levels of tax credit and benefit fraud and error.
HMRC and DWP will work with Experian to identify undisclosed partners and income – all of which affect how much money claimants are entitled to receive.
A recent pilot of this work has already protected more than £16m of anticipated losses in tax credits.
The first cases identified by Experian as part of this work are already with fraud investigators. Using the Experian data, the departments expect to save around £800m over the life of the contract.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:
“I’m delighted that following a very successful pilot we are able to take forward a partnership which will work in the interests of all honest taxpayers and benefit recipients.
“The Government will not tolerate people who dishonestly divert money away from those who are genuinely entitled to it.
“Working with Experian will allow HMRC to escalate the fight against tax credit fraudsters, helping to ensure that they are caught and punished.”
Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:
“Benefit fraud is a crime and we are committed to stamping it out.
“We will catch and punish those who abuse the system and prevent fraud from entering in the first place.
”Alongside this work at the frontline, we are bringing in the Universal Credit which will simplify and automate the benefits system. This will make it much easier to catch people who make false claims.”
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