A new hard-hitting campaign will
tell benefit thieves that there is no excuse for benefit theft -
commit it and you will be caught and punished. The No Ifs No Buts
campaign warns benefit customers that no excuse will be tolerated
if they deliberately hide changes in their circumstances that might
affect their benefits. Failure to do so could constitute
The campaign will feature television adverts and billboard
posters highlighting the problem of taxpayers’ money being stolen
by benefit thieves. Last year benefit thieves received over 52,000
prosecutions, sanctions and cautions for a range of fraud
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton
“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
“The public are fed up with
money intended for society’s most vulnerable. There are no excuses
for taking money that isn’t yours.”
The No Ifs No Buts campaign puts the spotlight on those
benefit customers who deliberately fail to report any changes in
their lives and highlights the consequences of not doing so.
Similar campaigns in recent years have helped reduce the
amount that benefit thieves stole from £2 billion in 2001 to around
£0.9 billion last year. Investigators are using new powers, such as
the right to check bank accounts and household bills, to come down
hard on people who cheat the system.
This Authority is required by law to protect
the public funds it administers. It may share information provided
to it with other appropriate organisations who share a
responsibility for auditing or administering public funds, in order
to prevent and detect fraud.
Data Matching is a process in which the data
or information held on one organisations computer system can be
compared with or matched against information held on another
organisations computer system with the intention of identifying any
specific differences in that information. The information matched
usually relates to an individual’s personal circumstances e.g.,
household details, income, capital.
Computerised data matching allows potentially
fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is
found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency, which
requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to
whether there is fraud, error or another explanation with regards
to the match until an investigation is carried out.
Data Matching is increasingly used by South
Staffordshire Council in anti fraud drives conducted by the
Revenues and Benefits Fraud Team. South Staffordshire Housing
Benefit Application form specifically advises claimants that we may
check information provided for a Housing Benefit or Council Tax
Support claim with other, appropriate agencies for example
Department of Work and Pensions, Inland Revenue.
Data Matching is an immensely powerful tool in the prevention
and detection of benefit/discount fraud. Accordingly Data Matching
is strictly regulated by the Data Protection Registrar who applies
limits to control an organisations power to hold and pass on
information held against an individual.
Benefit Fraud Hotline
Telephone: (0500) 658008