Lord Campbell of Croy
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What action is being taken to identify fraudulent applications for housing and social security benefits.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish)
The day to day administration of the housing benefit and council tax benefit schemes is the responsibility of local authorities. The department has put in place a number of initiatives, including financial incentive and penalty schemes, to encourage local authorities to identify fraudulent applications. The Benefits Agency has introduced a security strategy to address fraudulent claims to other social security benefits. Investment of £305 million over the next three years will fund a range of measures designed to shift the emphasis from detection and investigation of fraud towards prevention and deterrence.