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    Birmingham City Council uncovers £5.8 million in benefit overpayments

    The Audit Commission's "Protecting the Public Purse" report has revealed that 120,000 frauds last year cost the country £135 million. These included abuse of the 25% single person council tax discount which cost authorities £90 million alone. Also, according to councils in England, there were in excess of 4,000 fraudulent used of disabled 'Blue Badge' parking permits.The North West (19.6%), followed by London (18.8%) topped the table with the highest proportion of fraud with the South West(6.5%) and North East (6.5%) contributing the lowest.

    In Birmingham, the report shows that over the last three years, the City Council uncovered £5.8 million of benefit overpayments. It also identified almost 18,000 cases of suspected fraud or error, prosecuted, cautioned or gave an administrative penalty (a fine equivalent to 30% of the overpayment) to about 1,400 people and prevented overpayments of around £3 million.

    There are concerns that as the Audit Commission is one of the public bodies being disbanded by the government's cost cutting measures, that next year's "valuable" fraud survey could be the last and the loss of the organization could weaken local authority controls.

    You can download the full report from the Audit Commission in pdf format here.

    Posted by Birmingham Budget Cuts on 3:12 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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