L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

26 July 2007 Blog Home : July 2007 : Permalink

Soon We're Talking Real Money

As reported in numerous places the UK's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to get its accounts signed off for the 18th consecutive time, meaning that it is actually worse than the EU which has only failed to get its sums approved 12 years in a row. Not only is the DWP worse than the EU in terms of the length of time it has been unauditable, it is also worse in terms of the amount estimated lost to fraud/error. The EU is only suspected of losing £400M or so to fraud and errors whereas the DWP is believed to have lost £2.5 Billion (that is roughly 6 times as much). The good news:

The figure is down from £2.7bn over the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) previous financial year.

Either way that is about £40 for every UK resident or about £100 for every tax payer (from memory only about 25 million people in the UK pay tax). Ok you may be thinking so £100 isn't that much but let me point out that this is merely one department. Add in the cockups on Transport and PPP, the NHS and IT and a supporting cast of thousands and I trust it is clear why I vehemently oppose people like Polly Pot who seem to think we should give all our money to the government to spend for us. As someone once said "a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money".

In the last two years its been £2.5 B and £2.7 B respectively. I think we're in the real money zone when it comes to fraud. Oh and don't let us forget that Gordon Brown's wonderful tax credits are also wasting billions.

Another way to look at it - and Polly really ought to answer this. There are between 5 and 6M households who are entitled to benefits/tax credits. Waste and fraud alone (forgetting the salaries and costs of collection/distribution) means that each poor family loses about £500/year.