The Attorney General’s Annual Fraud Indicator report of January 2010 states that £30bn of fraudulent activity takes place each year in the UK, with benefit fraud accounting for just £1.1bn. Meanwhile tax fraud, which receives negligible coverage in the mainstream press, accounts for £15.2bn, just over half of the UK’s total fraud bill.
“All fraud is wrong and should be tackled, but benefit fraud accounts for less than 1 per cent of benefit spending and is dwarfed by the amount lost to tax evasion. If the government is serious about raising revenue it should put more resources into tackling tax evasion rather than using benefit fraud as a cover for swingeing cuts to genuine claimants.“
TUC Spokesman – Referenced on TaxResearch.org.uk
Looking again at these large amounts lost to tax related fraud and bearing in mind the £850bn banking bail out following the financial crisis of 2008, you can see why attempting to suggest that jobs can be saved and that the deficit can be substantially reduced by stepping up a crackdown on benefit claimants is pure fallacy. There’s also some excellent research from the Citizens Advice Bureau, demonstrating that as much as £16bn in benefits goes unclaimed by those legally entitled to it.