The "stunningly complex" benefits system only benefits the crooks

Another recurring story on PL - the benefits system. Anyone who can get their head round the complexities of this system deserves a few financial handouts and tax credits. It seems those who control it are not up to speed, they have been conned out of £2.5bn (TWO POINT FIVE BILLION POUNDS) through fraud. The Commons Work and Pensions select committee has described the benefits system as "stunningly complex".

The committee has reported on the issue saying a "wholesale review" of benefits - including looking at which ones can be scrapped or merged - was essential. It turns out that the DWP alone has 40 separate benefits, each with its own set of rules and application procedures. All this in the wake of this is the news that the DWP's accounts have not been signed of for the 18th (EIGHTEENTH) consecutive year because of the "significant sums" lost to fraud and error. Eighteen years and only now there is a problem that needs overhauling? What would happen to a company if it was in the private sector and it failed to have its accounts signed off for eighteen years? No-one knows as it would not be up and running after18 years of bogus accounting. The annual breakdown of DWP balls up is as follows - At least £690 million was lost to bogus claimants, £1 billion to mistakes by customers and another £850 million to official error (NAO).

In another example of how illogically government is organised, the report cited the lack of co-ordination within Government about the links between the benefit system, which is run by the DWP, and tax credits, which are run by HM Revenue and Customs.

So the people claiming the money don't understand it, those dishing out the money don't understand it, the government don't have the "vision or drive" to sort it out and there is a bunch of wise crooks milking every last bit of ignorance around the system and turning it in to hard, cold cash. We're talking billions of pounds of tax payers’ money here needlessly wasted or lost through a badly implemented policy and process.