Myth 8: Benefit fraud takes up a large chunk of the welfare bill

Busted? Ministers launched a £1m poster campaign in October warning that the government would come down hard on benefit cheats. Government minister Mark Harper said at the time:’Those who cheat the system need to know we will use everything in our power to stop them stealing money from hardworking taxpayers, and that they could land themselves in jail when they’re caught.’

But is benefit fraud a big problem for the taxpayer? In 2013/14, £1.2bn of benefit was lost due to fraud. The total paid out in benefits was £164bn. So benefit fraud made up less than 1% of the overall welfare bill that year. However, the total amount of cash lost due to fraud will be less than that, as a lot of the money will be recovered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Source: Department for Work and Pensions

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