Benefit fraud in the UK is one gigantic problem.
According to the government it costs around £1.2 bn per year but other estimates predict that the figure is closer to £5 bn.
According to some figures more than 15% of the working age population claim some sort of benefits with almost 750,000 people claiming single parent benefit alone.
Unfortunately such astronomical numbers makes it difficult to police the problem of benefit fraud satisfactorily.
There are thousands of fraud investigators currently working in the UK (around 3,000 if recent figures are to be believed) but that still means an excessive workload for each and every one of them.
How To Tackle Benefit Fraud
One major problem with benefit fraud in the UK is that when people are found to be guilty of such crimes the sentences rarely reflects the seriousness of the crime.
Do you think 10 years in prison is too much? Comment below.
What do you do with benefit fraudsters? There seems to be little point in fining them as very few of them will have the means to pay for their crimes, so what’s the alternative – a custodial sentence?
The UK prison system is already bursting at the seams, this is another problem entirely.
The only answer to this enormous problem seems to be – prevention is better than cure. Systems need to be put into place which reduces the likelihood (and let’s face it, the ease that some perpetrators find it to commit such crimes) of people being able to make fraudulent claims.
The Impact On Legitimate Benefit Claimants
On the flip side making it tougher to commit benefit fraud means that claiming any type of benefits will be a more rigorous and complicated process. This can mean problems for the thousands of truthful beneficiaries who rely on their benefits in order to make ends meet.
Deterrents also need to do just that – deter people from even thinking about attempting to de-fraud the government, the country and the ordinary working folk from benefits to which they are not entitled.
The answer is surely:
* Clear, simple rules about who is and who is not eligible for benefit claims
* Stiffer punishments for anyone found to be guilty of benefit fraud
The worst cases are often reported in the national press but thousands of cases go unreported nationally every year.
Benefit fraud costs billions of pounds every single year which indicates a growing immoral society.
There is only so much money “in the pot” and the more people who claim benefits fraudulently equates to there being is less money to share around for the really needy cases.