Dealing with the Complexity of the Benefits System

HC 592, Session 2005-2006: Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General

Author:
National Audit Office (NAO)
Publisher:
TSO (The Stationery Office)
Dealing with the Complexity of the Benefits System - Front
Price: £21.25
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its agencies are responsible for administering around 40 social security benefits to the value of around 100 billion a year. Many of these benefits are linked together; hence, some customers are in receipt of more than one benefit.

The need for equity and fairness in interpreting legislation is a cause of complexity. Incentives (e.g. to work) and rewards (e.g. for an individual's savings) have been built into procedures.

Problems are caused by the interface between DWP benefits and tax credits (which are administered by HM Revenue and Customs), and by the constant flow of major and minor legislative and administrative changes.

Simplified procedures would enable both staff and customers to understand the system better and to avoid duplication of effort. There would also be less scope for benefits fraud (estimated at 2.6 billion in 2004-05).

This NAO report, 'Dealing with the Complexity of the Benefits System (HC 592)', also highlights the need for improved communication with customers and better use of new technology.

Extent 73 pages ISBN 9780102936155
Size A4 Price £21.25
Format Paperback Published 18 Nov 2005
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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