David Cameron launched the latest “war on benefit cheats” this week with a plan to use credit rating agencies to check up on claimants.
Cameron says the government will use the agencies to “identify circumstances which are incompatible with the benefit claim”.
The idea is to “catch” people who spent some of their state pittance on Sky TV, mobile phones or holidays, when presumably he thinks they should be dying in a ditch.
Credit rating agency Experian is set to begin working for the department within weeks. The Tories also plan to pay “bounties” to private fraud-hunting companies.
Cameron said benefit fraud costs £5.2 billion a year. But the actual figure is a fifth of that—official statistics say most money is lost because of error, not fraud.
Last year the government spent £150 million on anti benefit fraud campaigns—but only netted £20 million in recovered cash.