Housing benefit and Council Tax benefit fraud offences: who should really be investigating?

Woolsgrove, Kim M. (2007) Housing benefit and Council Tax benefit fraud offences: who should really be investigating? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    In view of recent Departmental resource modifications this study seeks to explore whether the offence of defrauding Social Security means tested Housing and Council Tax Benefits should continue to be investigated solely by the 408 National Local Authorities of England, Wales and Scotland. Arguments will be presented to reason if this responsibility should instead be totally assigned to the Department For Work and Pensions, who currently investigate frauds against other Social Security Benefits such as Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance, to HM Revenue and Customs, or even transferred to a new type of fraud squad as based on the 2006 Fraud Review recommendations. After initially defining the offence of benefit fraud, and its perceived seriousness, an overview is then provided as to the sanctions that are available to both deter would be fraudsters from offending and punish culprits as appropriate. In order to expedient any current resource issues within the Local Authorities statistical data will be utilized. An outline will then be presented to clarify how the actual existence of fraud within the benefits system was recognised and this will provide solid reasons as to why benefit investigation teams are regarded as such a necessity. By citing measures of how the problem of fraud has been tackled independently, and then with the development of a united stance by Local Authority investigators with those in the Department For Work and Pensions, it will be confirmed that by working together these two investigation services are indeed a very effective amalgamation. Leading on from this the HM Revenue and Customs very different policy on sanctions will be argued and, finally, current relevant progressive recommendations will be used as indicators as to decipher the possible future of Local Authority administered benefit fraud investigations.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/240

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