Social security fraud is currently estimated at £7 billion per year out of an annual socialsecurity budget of £90 billion. The social security system is hugely bureaucratic andadministrative, leaving it wide open to abuse. Obviously there are individuals keen toexploit such vulnerability, but many innocent claimants also fall foul of its rules, quiteinadvertently. In 1997, the Conservative government declared that its anti-fraudinitiatives would save taxpayers £7 billion over the next three years.2 The main plankin the Conservatives’ anti-fraud strategy, which has now been implemented by theLabour Government, was the Social Security Administration (Fraud) Act 1997,designed to make the detection, prosecution and punishment of benefit fraud moreeffective.3 The aim of this note is to examine the legislation previously used in thebattle against benefit fraud, to identify the rationale for legislative change, and toanalyse the problems which arise from this new legislative position.
|Journal||Modern Law Review|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|