Friday, August 18, 2006

You Couldn't Make It Up - Part 329

Reality trumps satire yet again.

"The Department of Work and Pensions said prisoners received £13 million in income support and Jobseeker's Allowance over the past three years.

Offenders are meant to have their benefits automatically stopped when they are sentenced.

The government said it would now tighten up its procedures for benefits.

The figures, released after Conservative Work and Pensions spokesman Philip Hammond tabled a Parliamentary question, show the total payout to prisoners in 2004-5 was £7 million - more than three times the amount paid out in 2002-3.

Prisoners are not entitled to claim Jobseeker's Allowance - worth up to £57.45 a week - because they are not available to work while locked up.

They are also ineligible for income support and pension credits, and generally cannot receive incapacity and disability benefits, the state pension, carer's allowance, industrial injuries benefit or maternity allowance.

Housing benefits are only given to those on remand awaiting trial.

Pensions minister James Plaskitt said in his written reply that the government did not know how much had been wrongly issued in incapacity benefit, council tax benefit or housing benefit.

He also said there were "no estimates available" for how many prisoners had received money. "


Sam Tarran said...

Another shambles created by a Government department.

How is the EU ruling that British prisoners must be able to vote coming along? I haven't heard anything on that since the EU declared it!

PJ said...

A government spokesman being interviewed on Radio4 described the £13M as "insignificant compared with the billion lost due to benefit fraud"
That's all right then.

Dear Bank Manager,
Re the my cheque for £7.32 that you bounced. Surely this is insignificant compared with the £14,252,376 unsecured overdraft I have already established with your bank by fraudulant means. If you continue with these petty actions I may well consider taking my business elsewhere.