8 July 2011
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that a new Mobile Regional Taskforce will be targeting benefit cheats from 25 July.
In a press release on the DWP website, Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform says:
"The new Taskforce is our latest weapon in tackling welfare fraud on the front line. We are sending a clear warning that if you are fiddling the system, you will be caught. Welfare fraud is a crime and takes money away from the most vulnerable.
"People who are receiving the correct benefits and Tax Credits have absolutely nothing to fear. But if people have deliberately not told us of a change in circumstances, they should do so now, before the team comes knocking at their door."
The taskforce will target ‘high risk’ postcodes across the country, re-examining claims, starting in the Perry Barr and Kingstanding area of Birmingham.
While Action for M.E. agrees that benefit fraud takes money away from the most vulnerable, so too does a system which fails people with fluctuating medical conditions.
Sir Peter Spencer says, “Too many genuinely ill claimants have to go through a protracted appeals process before they are awarded the basic financial help to which they are fully entitled and which they desperately need. Even over-burdened carers are being stigmatised as cheats in the current climate. This is a grave injustice and it must stop.”