DWP accounts not signed off for 24th year in a row, as billions lost to fraud and error

July 17, 2012 2:35 PM

For the 24th year in a row, the Department for Work and Pensions has failed to have its accounts signed off, according to the National Audit Office. Colossal losses to fraud and error, worth £4.5 billion in the last financial year, have stopped the DWP from achieving an unqualified sign off. This includes £3.2 billion in overpayments and £1.3 billion in underpayments.

Although the scale of these figures is remarkable, they reflect the trend of recent years; in 2010-11 £3.3 billion was wasted in overpayments. These massive costs show the need for urgent reform to our complex and chaotic welfare system. Back in 2010 we proposed a better and cheaper benefits system which would simplify administration, protect the poorest in society and ensure better value for taxpayers’ money. Only radical reform can break this decades-old and predictable cycle of administrative failures.

Responding to the National Audit Office announcement, Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
Taxpayers will be astounded that the DWP accounts have not been signed off for the 24th year running. This is now an absolutely appalling track record for the department, which is consistently losing eye-watering amounts of taxpayers’ money to fraud and error.

We simply cannot go on with the NAO refusing to sign off the accounts every year, and the DWP promising that things will change. Taxpayers deserve better and, after more than two decades of the accounts being qualified, they should expect urgent action to ensure that this never happens again.
For the 24th year in a row, the Department for Work and Pensions has failed to have its accounts signed off, according to the National Audit Office. Colossal losses to fraud and error, worth £4.5 billion in the last financial year, have stopped the DWP from achieving an unqualified sign off. This includes £3.2 billion in overpayments and £1.3 billion in underpayments.

Although the scale of these figures is remarkable, they reflect the trend of recent years; in 2010-11 £3.3 billion was wasted in overpayments. These massive costs show the need for urgent reform to our complex and chaotic welfare system. Back in 2010 we proposed a better and cheaper benefits system which would simplify administration, protect the poorest in society and ensure better value for taxpayers’ money. Only radical reform can break this decades-old and predictable cycle of administrative failures.

Responding to the National Audit Office announcement, Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
Taxpayers will be astounded that the DWP accounts have not been signed off for the 24th year running. This is now an absolutely appalling track record for the department, which is consistently losing eye-watering amounts of taxpayers’ money to fraud and error.

We simply cannot go on with the NAO refusing to sign off the accounts every year, and the DWP promising that things will change. Taxpayers deserve better and, after more than two decades of the accounts being qualified, they should expect urgent action to ensure that this never happens again.

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