Council warning over illegal benefit claims

By a County Press reporter

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

 

A WARNING has been issued by the Isle of Wight Council to anyone illegally claiming benefits.

The authority issued the warning following a recent court case where a resident unlawfully claimed housing benefit and was ordered to pay the council more than £24,000 within six months or face 12 months jail.

The case came about as a result of several council departments working together to identify fraudulent activity and then involving other agencies including Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police.

The council’s executive member for housing, Cllr Steve Stubbings, said: "Unlawfully claiming benefits you are not entitled to is a very serious crime and costs councils across the country millions every year.

"It is very important the council works with partners to crack down on fraudulent activity so that benefits are only given to those who genuinely need them.

"This recent successful prosecution shows we will not tolerate fraudulent activity and demonstrates that if you do unlawfully claim benefits, you will be caught and you will pay back what you owe or you could go to prison."

The council operates a dedicated phone number that people can call should they suspect someone is unlawfully claiming benefits. Anyone calling the number has the right to remain anonymous and all information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence. To number is (01983) 823969. Alternatively, call the national benefit fraud hotline on 0800 854 440.

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by Mat Thomas

10th June 2014, at 20:00:48

Nothing new here it's Tory policy to pursue benefit fraud, will the same politicians do the same and put their names to standing up against monopoly tax evasion from "Next" or "Amazon" ?

Somehow I doubt it.

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by Colin Russell

10th June 2014, at 17:15:08

John, your right there, they walk away with a big pay off, thats what you get when your investigated by your own.,

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by Colin Russell

10th June 2014, at 17:09:50

So there has been a court case about fraud, give us a break Stubbings.
Now when some one puts a claim in the council has that claim form now with the "powers" the council has got they can run all sorts of cneck's, and if it stink's then call them in for a "chat" and can nipped in the bud and flag that person / family up, but if they are a needy person / family give them the help they need, its not rocket science,
This should have been done a long time ago when the last lot was in as well, maybe the staff need to be retrained, but the way the staff have, and are being treated with the job cuts makes me wonder if they are that bothered to much about the job.

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by John James

10th June 2014, at 16:58:28

Three words Cowes Enterprise College. Millions wasted and no one held to account. Its the usual one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

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by Nat Denwois

10th June 2014, at 14:54:05

Time for the bankers and currupt mps to be given the same ultimatum!

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by simon max

10th June 2014, at 14:08:41

if they had the extra money they would only waste it and charge us more again next year on our council tax. council and councillors totally out of touch!

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by Steve Smith

10th June 2014, at 12:58:01

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by Steve Smith

10th June 2014, at 12:55:06

umm.... £24,000 or 12 months jail....Let me think, I'll only have to spend 6 months so effectively I'll be earning £48k per year tax free,,umm a no brainer!

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by Dave James

10th June 2014, at 12:07:56

What a great idea! Several council departments working together!! I wonder why nobody has thought of doing that before??

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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