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


Have your say on the new Garden Village

Residents, businesses and organisations are being offered the chance to have their say on a proposed garden village set to be built to the north of the A40 near Eynsham. A consultation has been la...[more]


Substantial Cotswolds country house hotel, Eynsham Hall, sold through Christie & Co

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has completed the sale of Eynsham Hall, one of Oxfordshire’s leading country house hotels at the gateway to the Cotswolds. This grand building,...[more]


Council tax one of the lowest in the country

Sound investment and efficient operation have meant West Oxfordshire District Council is once again able to charge the second lowest council tax in England. The Council has set a three per cent in...[more]


To view the full Witney Blog, click here