New measures to recover “fraud” overpayments

On top of any fine or custodial sentence handed out by the courts, new measures include:

up to 40% of benefits may be taken to repay stolen cash – so the money is returned quicker than it would be under the current rules

the amount that can be deducted directly from pay packets to recover fraudulent overpayments increased to 40%

larger penalties – the maximum administrative penalty a fraudster can receive will rise from £2,000 to £5,000

bailiffs used to confiscate high-value possessions from convicted benefit cheats

checking Jobseeker’s Allowance claims against PAYE reported in real time to highlight and catch cheats with jobs

hbinfo note: it is unclear whether these powers will be made available to local authorities….but direct earnings attachments have been in place since April 2013.