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


Full backing for Oxfordshire Housing and Growth deal

West Oxfordshire District Council is backing a deal set to unlock funding to provide thousands of homes and deliver major infrastructure upgrades in key areas such as the A40. Cllr James Mills, Le...[more]


Sign up now for garden waste collections

Letters are being sent to all householders in West Oxfordshire encouraging them to sign up for this year’s garden waste collection service. The new subscription year starts from 1 April 2018 to 31...[more]


Councillors back balloon and lantern ban

The release of sky lanterns and helium balloons from West Oxfordshire District Council land could be banned after Cabinet members backed the proposal. Cllr Andrew Coles and Cllr Toby Morris with heli...[more]


To view the full Witney Blog, click here