Saturday, April 07, 2007

Government tries to tackle benefit fraud

Lie detectors will be used to help root out benefit cheats, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has said.

So-called "voice-risk analysis software" will be used by council staff to help identify suspect claims.

It can detect minute changes in a caller's voice which give clues as to when they may be lying.

The technology is already used by the insurance industry to combat fraud and will be trialled by Harrow Council, in north London, from May.

It will be tested on housing and council tax benefit claims first, before being rolled out to job centres later in the year.

Announcing the pilot, Mr Hutton said: "This technology aims to tackle fraudsters while speeding up claims and improving customer service for the honest majority."

Wouldn’t it just be easier to have a public database of all those that claim any type of benefit? All you would have to do is look up your neighbour and see what benefits they are claiming. If they are claiming incapacity benefit because they can barely walk because of a bad back and you see them mowing their lawn easily enough you can inform the relevant authorities. No need for expensive stuff that may not work.

This would cut benefit fraud by huge amounts especially if their neighbours were given rewards like a percentage of the money that was saved.

I see a number of reasons to have a public database. These reasons are:

1. Taxpayers have a right to know to who their money is going to

2. This would decrease benefit fraud significantly

3. People who go on benefits because they can’t be bothered to work might think otherwise because some people might be embarrassed if their neighbours found out about it.

I think this is a good idea and I do think it will be far more effective than the government’s idea of over the phone lie detector tests. There is also an e petition on the subject.

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