Local authorities have identified £40 million in fraud and
overpayments with housing benefit as the main culprit.
The total value of detected fraud rose soared from £15
million in 1997 to £41 million in 1998 – an increase of
over 160 per cent.
Housing benefits were the largest source of fraud with more than
£15 million in fraud and overpayments confirmed in 1998. The
Audit Commission’s National Fraud Initiative also identified
a potential further £11 million in housing benefit fraud and
The commission’s anti-fraud drive used powerful IT data
matching techniques to cross-check data supplied by over 400
councils, in England and Wales, as well as other authorities such
as the police and the contributions agency.