TAX DISCOUNT: Northumberland Council reveals top causes of fraud
People wrongly claiming single person council tax discount has been revealed to be the biggest cause of fraud against Northumberland County Council.
A discount of 25% may be given when only one adult lives in a property which is their main home.
However, a counter fraud report set to be heard by the council’s audit committee, stated that hundreds of people in the area had been caught claiming it when they shouldn’t be.
The document revealed that of 825 fraud referrals received by the authority last financial year 349 were for the false claiming of the discount.
The report said that the council didn’t seek out people committing this kind of fraud during the pandemic.
It said: “Proactive single person discount exercises were temporarily suspended to prevent any reputational damage to the authority during the pandemic.
“We have concluded cases that were part of the ongoing review of Single Person Discount and savings for this report period amounted to £152,844.70.”
The corporate fraud team also investigates
Other types of fraud committed were:
Council Tax – 195
Business Rates – 9
Insurance – 17
Schools – 8
Single Person Discount – 349
Tenancy – 205
Blue Badge/Concessionary Passes – 3
Covid-19 Grant – 18
DWP Joint Working – 1
Other – 20
Northumberland County Council’s audit committee is set to hear the report on Wednesday.
Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter
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