Councils pay high price for fraudulent benefit claims

Mid Suffolk District Council Offices
Mid Suffolk District Council Offices
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Three councils in Suffolk paid out almost £370,000 in fraudulent housing and council tax benefits claims in 2012.

A counter fraud investigation based in Ipswich revealed Mid Suffolk District Council, Babergh District Council and Ipswich Borough Council are owed £369,000 between them.

Mid Suffolk is owed £142,285, Babergh £46,770 and Ipswich Borough Council £180,726.

Siobhan Martin, Ipswich Borough Council’s audit partnerships manager, said the councils took a ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to benefit fraud.

A spokeswoman for Mid-Suffolk and Babergh said: “As a result of the strong working relationship we have with investigators from the Department of Work and Pensions we continually pursue these through the courts to recover the money and to ensure justice is brought to bear for the residents in our districts.”