DWP outlines plan to cut benefit fraud

13/05/2024 | UK Government

On Wednesday, 15 May 2024, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published an update to its plans to cut benefit fraud. In the last 12 months, DWP reports saving £1.3 billion from fraud and error. The government predicts it will save a further £9 billion by 2028. To deliver these savings, DWP explained that it would require 2,500 new staff, modernise information-gathering powers, and invest £70 million into advanced data analytics. 

On top of the £9 billion, plans contained within the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill that enable DWP to monitor bank accounts are expected to save an additional £600 million over five years.

In a statement responding to the news,  Mark Johnson, Advocacy Manager at Big Brother Watch (BBW), said, "Everyone wants to see fraud tackled in the welfare system and throughout society more broadly but as the government has shown, there are existing powers which can be used to do this based on reasonable suspicion. The proposed new financial surveillance powers are an affront to privacy in the UK. The government should listen to the calls of rights groups, legal experts and Parliamentarians and junk these plans."

In related news, BBW confirmed that 270,000 people have signed petitions calling for the government to scrap its bank spying plans.

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Department for Work and Pensions, DWP

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