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Fraud and Error in Welfare System

Volume 718: debated on Monday 11 July 2022

5. What steps her Department is taking to reduce the level of fraud and error in the welfare system. (900974)

In May this year, we published “Fighting Fraud in the Welfare System”, which details our proposals for reducing fraud and error, including legislative change and closer working across Government.

The claimant rate in Bracknell is way below the national average. My constituency enjoys high employment, but we still have lots of job vacancies. What steps is the Department therefore taking to ensure that the remaining claimants are helped into work?

With a record 1.3 million vacancies, our focus is not only on tackling fraud but on continuing to help people to get back into work and to progress in their careers. A multi-billion-pound plan for jobs will continue to help our constituents and people across the UK to find work and progress in employment.

With regard to DWP issues, one of the largest problems I see in my mailbag is people who go for assessed benefits, such as the personal independence payment, being turned down at the first stage, having to go to appeal and, in huge numbers, winning on appeal. Why are there so many errors in the assessment process?

I thank the hon. Member—another good Cheshire MP—for his question. We are working hard to make the right decisions first time, every time. All health professionals undertaking assessments on behalf of the Department must be registered practitioners who have also met requirements around training and competence. We are working hard to make sure that we can further improve the quality of those assessments with clinical coaching and monthly performance meetings.