Focus on benefit fraud questioned
Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions show that benefit fraud accounts for less than 1 per cent of the total benefit bill, said Bevan Foundation Director Victoria Winckler. Commenting in the Western Mail on 17th May 2012, Victoria said that more was lost from under-claiming than from fraud, and that the relentless portrayal of benefit claimants as “undeserving” was not only unfair but also stigmatised those who did claim.
She said in the Western Mail “It deters people from claiming in the first place particularly the benefits claimed by older people, such as pension credit or disability benefit where they feel they’ll be treated as if fraudster in the process of claiming. It makes them nervous.
“The whole stigma thing is a cause for real concern. A lot of those benefits are insurance benefits that people have paid in for.”
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