Detecting, Prosecuting and Punishing Benefit Fraud: The Social Security Administration (Fraud) Act 1997

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
JournalModern Law Review
Volume62
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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