Reacting to the publication, today, of Government figures showing that overpayments due to benefit fraud have remained at the 2011/12 of 0.7 percent, level, Hitesh Patel, KPMG’s Forensic Partner, says:
“Belt tightening remains the hobby of necessity in the current economic climate. Yet, with many people driven by a pressure to survive as austerity measures begin to bite, it is relatively good news to see that the cost of benefit fraud has remained unchanged for the best part of a year.
“Despite high levels of unemployment and the resulting increase in claimants, the Government has managed to ensure that year-on-year losses remain stable. In the context of the sheer volume of transactions undertaken to distribute benefits this must be seen as a move in the right direction and an indication that policies and structural reforms are having a positive impact.”
“Yet, whilst it’s encouraging to see figures falling, now is not the time to be complacent. Application of sophisticated forensic techniques to build behavioural patterns and track fraudsters, combined with a tougher penalty regime for those who are caught might – at the very least help to deter people from engaging in fraudulent activity. At best, they may ensure that the stabilising figures released today are followed by news of a decline in fraud, tomorrow.”
Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.