What do the different kinds of fraud tell us?
The Centre recently received an interesting research question from @imajsaclaimant to which we do not know the answer:
"What are the different levels of different kinds of benefit fraud and what does this tell us?"
This is an interesting question because certainly many forms of benefit fraud are not exploitation of the benefit system. Instead it's about people trying to cope with the craziness of the system:
e.g. people will lose income if they start living in a partnership (marriage or cohabitation) and so this means that some people on very low incomes try to avoid declaring that they've started such a partnership. This is all the more unsurprising because, as we all know, any such relationship may not last very long.
This question could be perhaps widened from benefit fraud to include tax fraud. For we already know that tax fraud (evasion, not avoidance) is already £15 billion (15 times greater than benefit fraud).
The Centre would love to hear from you if you have the answer to this question. We would be keen to publish any answers and will give any researcher full credit.
Please email Simon Duffy if you can help.