Select Committee on Social Security Second Report


Why the Benefit Review has been undertaken

3.1  The need to target benefit expenditure on those with legitimate entitlement, and the Government's declared intention to bear down on fraud and abuse have focused attention on frauds relating to DSS benefits generally, and the need to review preventative measures in particular.

3.2  Detailed up-to-date information on the extent of fraud and abuse has not hitherto been available and this makes it difficult to make decisions about the appropriate scale of investment in security measures, and to target resources.

3.3  BA initiated the Benefit Review project as one mechanism for gathering some of the necessary data. Detailed information on current problems will help facilitate the increasing emphasis on prevention and deterrence as against investigation.

3.4  A review of Income Support (IS) and Unemployment Benefit (UB) was undertaken in 1994 and results announced in July 1995. The results of a Housing Benefit Review were announced in January 1996, and those of reviews of Retirement Pension in March 1996, Invalid Care Allowance in July 1996, Disability Living Allowance in February 1997 and a second review of IS in July 1997.

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Prepared 4 February 1999