Witney News - New initiative to crackdown on benefit cheats

Witney - A view from Church Green

Advertisements

New initiative to crackdown on benefit cheats

Benefit fraudsters could find their payments cut as West Oxfordshire District Council implements the Government’s new ‘One Strike’ initiative.

Anyone caught committing benefit fraud could find their benefit payments reduced for a 4-week period and, in the severest cases, could face a prison sentence.

The new scheme aims to deter benefit claimants from withholding information about their personal circumstances in order to receive more benefit than they are entitled to.

In the last six months benefit fraud overpayments in West Oxfordshire have amounted to £143,000 and 32 residents have been sanctioned. They have either been cautioned or fined and some have been prosecuted. In all cases the money fraudulently obtained has to be repaid. The One Strike initiative now adds to the sanctions available to the Council.

Cllr Simon Hoare, Cabinet Member for Resources said, “Benefit payments are, rightly, targeted to those in genuine need. Claiming under false pretences is, in reality theft and morally unacceptable to honest taxpayers. Our benefit fraud team have been very successful in identifying and prosecuting offenders and we welcome this new deterrent as an important new tool to crackdown on benefit cheats.”

Posted : 19/11/2010 17:01:49

Other recent Witney news items


Council tackles homelessness with property purchase

West Oxfordshire District Council is planning to buy a property in a bid to avoid people being made homeless. The move is designed to address the need for emergency housing and help avoid resident...[more]


Ultrafast broadband heading for West Oxfordshire

More than 4,600 homes and businesses in West Oxfordshire will be connected to ultrafast full fibre broadband by the end of 2019 thanks to a major new contract worth more than £8m. The contract wil...[more]


Council on target for affordable housing

Affordable housing targets are being met in West Oxfordshire, new figures reveal. In the first quarter of 2017, a total of 24 new homes have been built by Sovereign Housing Association in the Dist...[more]


To view the full Witney Blog, click here