The debate about Britain's welfare system is as heated as ever. Anecdotal evidence and personal experience tend however to overshadow the statistics and there is one set of numbers that are of particular interest: fraud and error in the benefit system. Both have risen considerably since 2005.{jcomments on}

The Guardian looked at the data to see whether claimants or officials are the reason for the change and who is losing out.

Figures released yesterday show that £3.5bn was overpaid in the past year due to fraud and error - but £1.6bn was also underpaid due to mistakes made by officials and claimants.

Overpayments represent 2p in every £1 spent on benefits and underpayments amount to just 1p in every £1. But they're nevertheless important, particularly given that four out of five Britons believe "large numbers of people these days falsely claim benefits".

Read the full story in The Guardian’s data blog


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.